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Who Becomes a Stalker?

January 24, 2010

STALKING IS A CRIME!

Once you’ve been a victim, you know how life-destroying stalking can be.

Who Becomes a Stalker?

Stalkers are usually isolated and lonely, coming from the “disadvantaged” of our society; however, a stalker can occupy any place in our entire social spectrum. Often, the stalking may be triggered by a significant trauma or loss in the life of the perpetrator, usually within at least seven years of the stalking behavior.   (For example, relationship dissolution or divorce, job termination, loss/potential loss of a child, or an ill parent.)  Most stalkers are not psychotic.  In a comparative study of psychotic versus non-
psychotic stalkers (Mullen et al. 1999), 63% of the sample was found to be suffering from a common psychiatric condition, such as major depression, personality disorder, or substance dependence–with personality disorder being the most common diagnosis.

Ex-intimates: Common stalkers are people who previously shared a romantic relationship with the victim, and former intimates are the most common type of stalking target.   This can be either from a long or short term relationship.

Family members: A stalker may target a member of their family, such as a parent or sibling.   This would most likely be a resentful or rejected stalker, and they would target a family member they feel had rejected,  humiliated, or abused them in the past.

Friends and Acquaintances: The victim may be stalked by an intimacy seeker or an incompetent suitor motivated by a desire to start a romantic relationship with the victim.  The victim may be stalked by a resentful stalker, typically a neighbor, who may be involved in a disagreement with the victim about something such as noise, the location of a tree, or pets.

Workplace Contacts: In their study of stalkers, Mullen (et al) found that 23% had a professional relationship with their victim, most often a medical practitioner.  Other stalkers may be supervisors, fellow employees, service providers, clients, or others who show up at the victim’s workplace. Stalking behaviors directed at the victim may include:  sexual harassment, physical and sexual assaults, robberies, or even homicide.  A violent workplace stalker usually has a history of poor job performance, a high rate of absenteeism, and a record of threats and confrontations with people they resent in the workplace.

 

 

Victims often do not tell their co-workers or supervisors about the person who is stalking them because they fear reprisals from the stalker or other employees, don’t think they will be believed, or feel embarrassed about the situation.

Doctors, nurses, psychologists, or other health care providers may become the targets of stalking by obsessed clients or patients.   (Or the other way around)  Teachers may become stalked by students.  (Or the other way around.)  Psychiatrists are at particular risk for being the targets of stalking because of their contact with people with psychiatric conditions.

Strangers: respond politely.  These are most commonly Intimacy Seekers and Incompetent Suitors, but may also be Predatory stalkers or Resentful stalkers.  These stalkers may hide their identity from their victims at first, and reveal it after stalking their victim for some time in order to get closer to them. Victims may be initially flattered when stalker approaches them and date with their stalker, after many requests.  This can have the unintentional effect of encouraging the
stalker, and making them believe that their love is reciprocated.

Gender: Stalkers are far more likely to be male, however, women can also become stalkers.   Women are more likely to  target someone they have known, usually a  professional contact.  Men are less likely to pursue other men, while females will often target other females.  The majority of female stalkers are intimacy seekers seeking to establish relationships, whereas men show a broader range of motivations, and are more often to be seeking to restore relationships.  Women are as likely to use violence as men, and there does not tend to be a difference between genders regarding the duration of  a stalking.  Thus, while the contexts and motives for stalking may differ between men and women, the intrusiveness of the behaviors and potential for harm does not.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Via Sexual Harassment Support.

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  1. November 14, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Very nice article, but it’s not quite complete. There is yet another class of stalker, the “group” or “organized” stalker. These stalking groups are often brought in by someone with a grievance against the target, and that can include a romantic breakup, especially a hostile divorce, or a disputed inheritance case.

    When women turn in their partners for a crime, such as pedophilia, that woman is very, very likely to meet a stalking group.

    Stalking group members come from all walks of life, and those who are working participate during their normal work day when their work is connected to the target, for example, utility technicians, or even retail store personnel. To vigorously motivate the stalking group members, lies are told about the target.

    On a very few occasions, police officers have participated in setting up the target. The stalking group members believe they are sort of a covert “police auxiliary” and are doing laudable service for their communities.

    To learn more, visit this concise e-booklet:

    http://www.multistalkervictims.org/osatv.pdf

    Eleanor White
    Ontario, Canada

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