Joseph A. Davis, Ph.D., LL.D.


4203 Genesee Avenue, Suite 103, #140, San Diego, CA USA 92111

Phone/Fax: 858-268-3610; Pager: 490-7485



Stalking and Stalkers


(Research Information)


      The first Anti-stalking statute and law was enacted in 1990 in California.


      The first multidisciplinary team of professionals in the U.S. that organized to address the issue of criminal stalking was the San Diego District Attorneys Stalking Strike Force and Stalking Case Assessment Team (SCAT) in 1994.


      Since 1990, all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have Anti-stalking laws.


      One percent of all women were stalked in the past 12 months.


      One out of every 12 women will be stalked in her lifetime.


      Men are far less likely to be victims of stalking: 0.4 percent stalked in any one year and one out of 45 men stalked in lifetime.


      Your chances of being stalked are close to 1 in 10.


      One in 12 women are stalked at some point in their life.


      A woman is 3 times more likely to be stalked than raped.


      Each year an estimated 1,006,970 women and 370,992 men are stalked in the U.S.


      The primary targets of stalkers are women (80%); 20% are men.


      8% of all women and 2% of all men are stalked at some time in their life.


      10% of female victims and 12% of male victims are less than 18-years-old.


      Approximately 50% of all stalking victims never report their victimization to law enforcement.


      Only 25% attain restraining orders against their assailant.


      80% of all restraining orders attained against stalkers are violated.


      More than 45% of all stalking cases involve disruption within the workplace and have devastating effects on the productivity of organizations and on the quality of life of employees.


Excerpted from J. A. Davis (Editor). Stalking Crimes and Victim Protection: Prevention, Intervention, Threat Assessment and Case Management. Release date, June 25, 2001, CRC Press, LLC., Boca Raton, Florida.


Figure 1.


Frequency and Escalation of Stalking Behaviors



100% Information gathering from friends, post office, internet, employer, school, etc.

Repeated non‑threatening mail, e‑mail, beeper codes, and phone calls.

Persistent physical approaches and/or requests for dates, meetings, etc.

Notes, gifts or flowers left on your car.

Observing/following and "coincidentally" showing up wherever the victim goes.

Sitting outside your home or place of employment.

Waiting next to your car in the parking lot.

False reports to authorities, spreading rumors, giving misinformation or secrets to friends/family.

50% Vandalism or destruction of property.

Threatening mail, e‑mail, notes, phone calls, and/or beeper codes. Threats may be

implied, or symbolic.

Leaving evidence that car has been broken into.

Breaking into the victim's home when he or she is not there.

Breaking into the victim's home when he or she is there.

Leaving dead animals in the home or car.

25% Physically attacking the victim (e.g., grabbing, hitting, pushing, etc.)

Rape or attempted rape.

<02% Murder or attempted murder.

(Excerpted from E. Spence-Diehl (1999); J. Davis et al. (1997). Frequency data based on research by Meloy (1996); Tjaden and Thoennes (1998); Pathe and Mullen (1997).









Figure 2.


Common Stalker Characteristics




      Obsessive and compulsive

      Falls "instantly" in love


      Does not take responsibility for own feelings or action

      Needs to have control over others

      Socially awkward or uncomfortable

      Views self as a victim of society, family, and others

      Unable to take "no" for an answer


      Often switches between rage and "love"

      Difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality

      Sense of entitlement ("You owe me).

      Unable to cope with rejection

      Dependent on others for sense of "self"

      Views his or her problems as someone else's fault

      May be of above average intelligence

Excerpted from E. Spence-Diehl (1999). Stalking: A Handbook for Victims. Learning Publications, Florida.