Sexual Assault Program
What is Stalking?
Stalking is the willful, malicious and repeated following or harassing of another person. The victims
may live in constant fear of their stalkers -- who can include former spouses, ex-partners, or strangers.
Stalking is a serious crime in Minnesota.
Stalking victims are often forced to live in fear and terror, screening telephone calls and altering
living arrangement. Stalking is harassment and more. Stalking is a form of terrorism.
Stalking is a crime that can touch anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual orinetation, socio-economic
status, geographic location or with whom a person associates. Stalking is not the victim's fault!
STEPS TO ENSURE YOUR SAFETY
- Call the Police or Sheriff.
The first thing to do when any stalking incident occurs is to call your local law enforcement
official. Explain exactly what happened and request that a report be taken to document the
incident. Get the report number and responding officer's name.
- Stalking doesn't stop with 911 -- EMPOWER YOURSELF!
- Obtain a Restraining Order or an Order for Protection.
A restraining order requires the offender to stay away from you. However, they are not
foolproof. You Must do more to protect your safety. An Order for Protection (OFP) is a special kind of restraining order for victims of domestic
More information on an Order For Protection
More information on a Harassment Restraining Order
- Notify family and friends who may be helpful in formulating a contingency plan. Ask them to keep
an eye out for strange occurrances. Inform a trusted neighbor and/or co-worker about the
- Maintain an unlisted phone number.
Consider adding voice-mail and/or Caller I.D. telephone services Tape record all calls.
- Make use of *57 on your touch-tone phone.
If you do not have Caller I.D., press *57 immediately after any unwanted phone calls and
listen for directions from US West who will trace the call. There is a $1 charge for this
- Contact your county attorney's office.
Many county attorneys offices have victim/witness advocates who can help you and keep
you informed about your case if changes have been made.
- Documentation. Your help in proving incidents occur is essential!
- In a notebook, write down the details of each stalking incident. Keep track of
the dates and times of each incident, what the stalker said or did, clothing descriptions,
when police were called, report numbers and responding officer's names. Also try
to record what you were feeling at the time of the incident. All of this information
will be valuable during prosecution. Click here for a Stalking Log.
- Obtain copies of court orders, protective orders and warrants, if possible.
- When you see the stalker, try to take a photograph if it can be done without
- Save and date all written material that you recieve from the stalker
including cards, letters, notes and envelopes. (If possible, save in a plastic bag
to preserve fingerprints.)
- Save answering machine tapes.
Make a note of the date and time the stalker
- Make a list of potential witnesses to the stalking incident.
There are two kinds of court orders - both of which are designed to stop the stalker and protect you. Harassment Restraining Order and an Order for Protection . Talk to an advocate to see if either of these orders would be in your best interest to obtain to help in keeping you safe from your stalker.
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Stalking in America
- 1,006,970 women and 370,990 men are stalked annually in the U.S.
- 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime.
- 77% of female victims and 30% of male victims know their stalker.
- 87% of stalkers are men.
- 59% of female victims and 30% of male victims are stalked by an intimate partner.
- 81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner.
- 31% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also sexually assaulted by that partner.
- 73% of intimate oartner stalkers verbally threatened victims with physical violence, and almost 46% of victims experienced one or more violent incidents by the stalker.
- The average duration of stalking is 1.8 years.
- If stalking involves intimate partners, the average duration of stalking increases to 2.2 years.
- 28% of female victims and 10% of male victims obtained a protective order. 69% of female victims and 81% of male victims had the protection order violated.
[Tjaden & Thoennes. (1998). "Stalking in America," MIJ]
Impact of Stalking on Victims
- 56% of women stalked took some type of self-protective measure, often as drastic as relocating (11%). [Tjaden & Thoennes. (1998). "Stalking in America," NIJ]
- 26% of stalking victims lost time from work as a result of their victimization, and 7% never returned to work. [Tjaden & Thoennes.]
- 30% of female victims and 20% of male victims sought psychological counseling. [Tjaden & Thoennes.]
- The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves being followed or having one's property destroyed.
[Blauuw et. al. 92002). "The Toll of Stalking," Journal of Interpersonal Violence]
Recon Study of Stalkers
- 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
- 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
- Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
- Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
- Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.
[Mohandie et al. "The RECON Typology of Stalking: Reliability and Validity Based upon a Large Sample of North American Stalkers." (In Press, Journal of Forensic Sciences 2006).]
Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide
- 76% of intimate partner femicide (murder) victims had been stalked by their intimate partner.
- 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner.
- 89% of femicide victims who had been physically abused had also been stalked in the 12 months before the murder.
- 79% of abused femicide victims reported stalking during the same period that they reported abuse.
- 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers.
[McFarlane et al. (1999). "Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide," Homicide Studies].
Stalking on Campus
- 13% of college women were stalked during one six-to-nine month period.
- 80% of campus stalking victims knew their stalkers.
- 3 in 10 college women reported being injured emotionally or psychologically from being stalked.
[Fisher, Cullen, and Turner. (2000). "The Sexual Victimization of College Women," NIJ/BJS.]
Stalking Resource Center
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