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Examining Stalking Assault by Victim Gender, Stalker Gender, and Victim-Stalker Relationship

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Abstract

The overall goals of this study were to explore factors associated with stalking assault and factors associated with stalking-related fear among those who were, and who were not, assaulted by victim gender. Men (n = 254) and women (n = 560) stalking victims were recruited through a crowdsourcing website and surveyed about their stalking experiences. Overall, one-third of stalking victims were assaulted. However, almost half of women were assaulted by (ex)partner stalkers compared to about one-quarter of women stalked by acquaintances or strangers. Additionally, about one-third of men were assaulted regardless of their relationship to the stalker. Three main findings are discussed including: (1) stalking assault rates and stalking-related fear levels differ by victim gender which may be, in part, because more women are stalked by males and by (ex)partners; (2) prior violence to the victim, threats, and frequency of confrontation were associated with stalking assault regardless of victim gender; and (3) among those not assaulted, threats and the stalker not caring about severe consequences was associated with stalking-related fear regardless of victim gender, but other factors associated with stalking-related fear differed by victim gender and assault experience. Arrest and increased concern for victim safety by professionals often hinges on physical violence and victim injury. However, educating professionals who work with stalking victims about the factors associated with assault, as well as the full range of harms and risks beyond assault, is crucial to supporting victims and holding stalkers accountable for the crime of stalking.

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Notes

  1. Available online at www.StalkingRisk.com

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Acknowledgements

The author acknowledges the University of Kentucky Department of Behavioral Science for funding this research as well as Jaime Miller and Jeb Messer for their help with the data collection.

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Logan, T. Examining Stalking Assault by Victim Gender, Stalker Gender, and Victim-Stalker Relationship. J Fam Viol 37, 87–97 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-020-00221-w

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