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Outside Looking In: Stalkers and Their Victims

Outside Looking In: Stalkers and Their Victims

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Outside Looking In: Stalkers and Their Victims

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  1. Outside Looking In: Stalkers and Their Victims Doris Hall, Ph.D. California State University Bakersfield

  2. Stalking (CA P.C. 646.9) • Willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another person, • Who makes a credible threat • With the intent to place that person in fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family

  3. Stalking Victims

  4. Post Intimate • Ex-Husbands • Ex-wives • Ex-boyfriends • Ex-girlfriends

  5. Prior Acquaintances • Acquaintances • Neighbors • Former friends • Co-workers • Students • Ex-patients • Relatives • Rapists

  6. Unknown • Early on in a stalking situation • You know someone is following and/or harassing • But you do not know who it is (yet) • Most stalkers will let victim know who they are

  7. False Victimization (FV) • Very rare (2%) • Usually females • Turns out the victim is actually the perpetrator • Attention seeking behavior

  8. FVS Red Flags • Come forward gleefully • Wants to share all the details • Expresses little fright • Seems to be enjoying the attention • Encourages police/3rd parties to set up a “meeting” so they can talk to stalker

  9. FVS Red Flags • Many FVS have history of self mutilation • Suicide attempts • False claims often follow major life distressors or dramatic moments

  10. Stalker ContactSurveillance Techniques • Following • Drive bys • Appearing at workplace • Wiretap telephones • Home surveillance

  11. Stalker ContactHarassment • Letters • Phone calls • Threats • Unwanted gifts • Mail tampering • Cancel utilities • False police reports

  12. Stalker ContactProperty Damage • Slashed tires • Broken windshields • Poison outdoor plants • Cut up clothing • Break into home

  13. Stalker ContactViolence • Occurs in 30% of cases • Physical assault • Sexual assault • Kidnapping • Killing or injuring pets

  14. Protective Orders • Of the 44% of the respondents who obtained a restraining order • 20% rated them as effective in controlling stalking behavior • 80% rated them as ineffective

  15. Restraining Orders Two schools of thought: • Yes, always get one versus • Maybe, it depends on the situation

  16. Restraining orders (cont). • “Law Enforcement Tools” • If a restraining order is violated it becomes a felony versus a misdemeanor.

  17. Castle Rock v. Gonzales (2005) • U.S. Supreme Court decision (7-2) held that respondent’s 14th amendment Due Process Clause was not violated by failure of police to enforce restraining order against her estranged husband • Tragic case in Colorado.

  18. Dramatic Moments life events which are likely to humiliate or shame to perpetrator, stoke his fury, and increase his risk of violence. • Examples include but are not limited to: • stalkers first approach to and rejection by the target • Unacknowledged gifts, letters, etc. • Issuance of restraining order • First court appearance

  19. Tjaden findings • 1 in 12 females will be stalked during their lifetime (8-12% of population) • 1 in 45 men will be stalked during their lifetime (2-4% of population)

  20. Australia • 15% of the population will be stalked sometime during their lifetime • Australia has a less stringent definition of stalking than the U.S.

  21. U.S. College students • Several studies have found that approximately 27% of college students are stalked during their college years • Possible reasons for this finding • Developmental deficits in social skills • Structure of college life

  22. Routine Activities Theory • Three elements: • Motivated offender • Suitable target • Lack of capable guardianship

  23. Stalkers • When compared to other criminals, stalkers tend to be: • Older • Higher IQ • More educated

  24. Demographic Characteristics of Stalkers • Male (75%-87%) • Mid to late 30s • Average or above average intellectual functioning • High School or above educational attainment • History of failed intimate relationships • Immigration may be a risk factor (10%) • Prior psychiatric history

  25. Zona’s Typology • Erotomania • AKA Old Maid’s Syndrome • Delusional belief that another person, usually of a higher status, is in love with them

  26. Zona’s TypologyErotomania • Subtype: Male Erotomanic • Usually from countries where the genders are kept separate. • Example Tarasoff v. U.C. Berkeley

  27. Zona’s TypologyErotomania • Athena Rolando broke into Brad Pitts home • Wore his clothes, slept in his bed, fed his dogs • What did she get?

  28. Zona’s TypologyAthena • Two days in jail • 36 months probation • 15 days graffiti removal • 3 years psychological counseling • 100 yards restraining order • And….

  29. Zona’s TypologyAthena (continued) • A guest on the Leeza Gibbons Show • Howard Stern Show • And Inside Edition

  30. Zona’s TypologyLove Obessional • Person knows that the other person is not in love with them…yet… • Example John Hinckley, Jr.’s obsession with Jodie Foster • This type of stalker might be the one that flattens your tire and then offers to fix it.

  31. Zona’s TypologySimple Obsession • Basically everyone else. • Includes all

  32. Stalker TypologyBoone & Sheridan • A law enforcement perspective • Developed by a profiler in England • N=124 • Four types

  33. Boone & SheridanExpartner Harassment/Stalking • 50% • Overt threats • Hostile • Recruits family & friends • High risk for violence • Victim should avoid perpetrator • May want to consider relocating

  34. Boone & SheridanInfatuation Harassment • 19% • Target is “beloved” • Non-malicious ruses • Low levels of danger • Perpetrator in teens to mid-life • Police need to be sympathetic, but explain victim is not interested

  35. Boone & SheridanSadistic Stalker • 13% • Victim seen as prey • Initially low level acquaintance • Communications blend of love and threats • Take very seriously • Very difficult to stop this stalker • Do not give victim false hope • Victim should move to secret location & change identity

  36. Boone & SheridanDelusional Fixation Stalking • 15% • Incoherent, yet fixated • High risk for physical and/or sexual violence • Borderline personality • Not responsive to rejection • Protective orders do not deter • Refer to forensic psychologist

  37. Mullen & Pathe TypologyRejected • Desire for reconciliation • Stalking is substitute for lost relationship • Very intrusive & persistent

  38. Mullen & Pathe TypologyIntimacy Seeker • Object is their true love • Star stalkers

  39. Mullen & Pathe TypologyIncompetent • Intellectually limited • Short duration • Serial stalker

  40. Mullen & Pathe TypologyResentful • Aggrieved workers • Feels humiliated • Vendetta for specific person

  41. Mullen & Pathe TypologyPredatory • Exclusively male • Physical and sexual assault • Often serial killers

  42. Spitzberg’s Obsession Relational Intrusion • Repeated and unwanted pursuit and invasion of one’s sense of physical or symbolic privacy by another person, either stranger or acquaintance, who desires and/or presumes an intimate relationship

  43. Spitzberg’s ORI • Even mild forms are viewed as moderately threatening • Behaviors are on a continuum • At some point they can cross over into stalking behavior • Discusses the “Gray Area” of when behavior becomes stalking

  44. Spitzberg’s ORI • Four different motives • “Lovers” seek to care for and cherish target • “Haters” seek to harm, scare, intimidate, destroy or seek revenge • “Controllers” seek to plan, manipulate and contain or restrain • “Expressers” display their feelings and inner urges as they occur without cognitive editing

  45. Conviction rate of stalkers • Approximately 50% of stalking victims report the crime to the police • 13% of female victims report conviction of stalker versus 9% of male victims • If you include other crimes committed by stalker (but not the actual crime of stalking) conviction rates increase to: • 24% for female victims and 19% for male victims

  46. DeBecker’s JACA • JACA is a prediction about violence • Justification for violence • Alternatives to violence • Consequences of violence • Ability to follow through on the violence

  47. Risk Management • Critical part of risk management is frequent and effective communication. • If the police or employer takes action which might anger or embarrass the stalker • Target needs to be advised or the stalking victim is put at further risk

  48. Red flags (continued) • ingratiation with the target’s co-workers or family members • Chronic lying or excuse making • Repeat questioning about how the target spends time and with whom

  49. Stalking Red Flags • Chronic privacy intrusions at work or at home • A need for the stalker to be physically close and to frequently touch the target • Prolonged staring at the target without verbalization • Repeat and unwanted gift giving

  50. DeBecker says: • “No matter what you may have assumed till now, and no matter for what reason you assumed it, I have no romantic interest in you whatsoever. I never will. I expect that knowing this, you’ll put your attention elsewhere, which I understand, because that is what I intend to do.”