Stalking Harassment Behavior
What You Need to Know About This Crime of Obsession
(c) Tami Port
Aug 21, 2007
When most of us think "stalking," it's the well-publicized incidents
involving celebrities that come to mind, but you don't need to be
famous to be a stalker's fixation.
What Is Stalking?
Stalking is a crime of obsession, and is often associated with
different types of psychopathology, including psychosis and severe
personality disorders. Depending on the stalker, behavior may range
from overtly aggressive threats and actions, to repeated phone calls,
letters or approaches. Stalking harassment may go on for years,
causing the victim to exist in a constant state of stress and fear.
The violent aspects of stalking behavior often escalate over time, and
in extreme cases, can end in murder (Douglas 1998).
There are anti-stalking laws in place, both federal and state,
designed to protect victims of stalkers. Under these laws,
perpetrators can be charged with stalking for repeatedly:
* Following or appearing within the sight of another.
* Approaching or confronting another individual in a public or private
* Appearing at the work place or residence of another.
* Entering or remaining on an individual's property.
* Contacting a person by telephone.
* Sending postal mail or e-mail to another.
Too often victims do not fully appreciate the true danger of being
stalked, and this can be a fatal mistake. If you feel uncomfortable
with the repeated advances, gifts or communications of an "admirer,"
trust your instincts, and always err or the side of caution. All
stalking is a crime and all stalkers should be considered dangerous
David Beatty, Executive Director of Justice Solutions, Inc. and former
Director of Public Policy for the National Victim Center, observes
that stalking, "is one of the rare opportunities where a potential
murderer raises his hand and says 'I'm gonna be killing somebody.'
Stalking provides an opportunity to intervene in what seems to be, in
many cases, an inevitable escalation towards violence and murder."
Evidence of Stalking
Every situation is different. There are different types of stalkers
and no set guidelines, so each victim must use his or her own judgment
as to what actions to take. But don't go it alone. Seek support from
your friends and family. Whether or not you plan to file formal
charges, report the harassment to your local law enforcement agency.
It is important to build your case against the stalker by providing
the police with records of the stalker's behavior towards you
(Kamphus, 2000), including any or all of the following:
1. Keep a diary or a log of the stalker's attempted interactions with
you, noting the time, place, verbal or written communication, gifts,
2. Save all voice mail and email messages left by the offender.
3. If you can do so safely, obtain a photo or videotape of the
4. Collect other identifying information, such as license plate
number, model and make of car, and a description of the stalker's
Protect Yourself from Stalkers
Unfortunately it is always the victim who is initially penalized in a
case of stalking; and the penalty is persistent stress and fear, as
well as the inconvenience of having to make significant changes to
your daily routine for the purpose of increasing safety. The Stalking
Resource Center suggests that the following precautions are important
to take if you are being targeted:
* Travel with friends and do not walk alone.
* Change your telephone number to an unlisted number.
* Vary the times and routes you take to work or to frequently visited
* Notify your family and friends, and explain the situation to your
employer so that they may protect you at work. Provide them with a
photograph or description of your stalker.
This article is a summary of merely a fraction of the information
available on stalking. Become familiar with federal and state stalking
laws, stalking statistics, and the many resources available to assist
and protect stalking victims, such as the National Center for Victims
of Crime (800) 394-2255 and the Stalking Resource Center.
Obsessive Personality of a Stalker
New Research on Perceived Personality Traits and Stalking
(c) Tami Port
Sep 29, 2007
A recent study compared coeds' assessment of personality traits of
those they perceived as stalkers and of partners of a 'normal'
What Is Stalking?
Stalking is a crime of obsession, and is often associated with
different types of psychopathology, often an axis II, Cluster B
personality disorder [antisocial, borderline, narcissistic, and
histrionic] (Mullen 1999).
Depending on the stalker, behavior may range from overtly aggressive
threats and actions, to repeated phone calls, letters or approaches.
This behavior may go on for years, causing the victim to exist in a
constant state of stress and fear. The violent aspects of stalking
behavior often escalate over time, and in extreme cases can end in
murder (Douglas 1998).
Since the more typical type of stalker is someone who has been
rejected from a relationship but continues to pursue the former
partner, Spitzberg and Vesler (2007), the researchers behind this
study, were interested in investigating whether there are basic
differences in personality between a post-relationship stalker and a
partner in a "normal" relationship.
Stalking Study Methods
In this study 292 college students (approximately 2/3 female) were
asked if they had ever been romantically pursued in a persistent and
unwanted way. If they had, they completed the survey in reference to
the person who harassed them. Respondents who had never experienced
this type of unwanted attention were asked to base their survey
answers on their current or most recent romantic relationship partner.
Study participants rated the person they were describing on three main
Personality Disorder Assessment
Subjects used a standardized psychological test to evaluate their
partner/pursuer for the presence of traits associated with the most
standard personality disorders.
Stalker's Social Skills
The partner/pursuer's interaction competence or social skills were
assessed using the Conversational Skills Rating Scale (CSRS),
developed by Spitzberg.
Obsessive Relational Intrusion
ORI is a particular type of harassment in which the pursuer's
objective is to become closer or more intimate with the victim, and
may or may not cause fear or perceived threat. The extent to which the
respondent had felt pursued in unwanted ways was assessed using the 28-
item ORI victimization short form (Cupach 2004).
Stalking Study Results
Findings related to the relationship between personality disorder and
stalking are presented below. See Suite101 article Stalkers Who Aren't
Strangers to learn more about the results of this research.
Personality Disorder and Stalking
The main question examined in this study was whether there is a
difference in personality traits between people identified as stalkers
and those who were not. The results revealed an association between
the largely subcriminal stalking behavior and histrionic and
borderline personality types.
Borderline personality traits include an extreme aversion to being
alone and employment of extreme behaviors to avoid abandonment,
whether real or imagined. Borderlines often have unstable and intense
relationships and are often prone to inappropriate displays of anger
Histrionic personality types have rarely been associated with
stalking. In this study, the histrionic personality traits associated
with stalking revolved around exaggerated emotional expression and
perception of the relationship being closer than it actually was.
Stalkers Social Competence
It is often assumed that stalkers have some degree of social
incompetence; however this is rarely measured in actual stalking
research. This study did find that subjects perceived stalkers to have
lower social competencies than nonstalkers. The researchers do point
out, however, that since the vast majority of stalkers come from prior
relationships, it appears that they at least have enough social skill
to initiate and maintain a relationship for a period of time.
This article is a summary of one study on stalking. If you are
interested in learning more about this crime of harassment see
Psychology Prof Online or the following Suite101 articles: Stalking
Law, Stalking Statistics, and Stalking Crime. You can also look to one
of the many resources available to assist and protect stalking
victims, such as the National Center for Victims of Crime (800)
American Psychiatric Association APA (2000) Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR).
Cupach, W. & Spitzberg, B. (2004). The dark side of relational
pursuit: From attraction to obsession and stalking. Lawrence Erlbaum
Douglas, J, and Olshaker, M. (1998) Obsession. Scribner
Mullen, P. E., Pathé, M., Purcell, R., & Stuart, G. W. (1999). Study
of stalkers. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156.
Spitzberg, B., Veksler, A. (2007) The Personality of Pursuit:
Personality Attributions of Unwanted Pursuers and Stalkers. Violence
and Victims, 22, 3.
Great article Roberta.
Sullivan you are amazing. For the first time in my memory Roberta makes a
valuable post and YOU determine it is OFF TOPIC.
On Apr 10, 8:10 pm, " krp" <krp24...@verizon.net> wrote:
> "gposter" <gpos...@live.com> wrote in message
< Roberta, did you want to discuss this?You might want to get Dan Sullivan's
King Sullivan has already RULED her post to be off topic. It was the
best post I have ever seen her make and Danny jumped on her like he does FX,
Mike, LK and everyoen else that are not his SERVANTS.
KRP > King Sullivan has already RULED her
KRP > post to be off topic. It was the best
KRP > post I have ever seen her make and
KRP > Danny jumped on her like he does
KRP > FX, Mike, LK and everyoen else
KRP > that are not his SERVANTS.
Roberta > "Does kenny have DELUSIONS
Roberta > OF GRANDEUR BY PROXY??"
Roberta, Would you like to honestly discuss
the material you posted?
Are you capable of such a discussion?
Does Dan's attempted blockade indicate otherwise?
Who woul;d she discuss it with?
A convicted wife abuser, who's also a child abuser registered on the
Iowa State Child Abuser Registry?
> Are you capable of such a discussion?
What makes you think she's not?
And what makes you think YOU are?????
> Does Dan's attempted blockade indicate otherwise?
I didn't blockade anything.
YOUR moronic posts are still getting thru, right, greg?
I simply believe it's an OT subject on asCPS.
Why? Domestic Violence and stalking are issues
closely connected with Child Protection aren't they?
Roberta thought so.
But you think Roberta got that wrong Dan?
You seem to be exhibiting some controlling behavior Dan.
Are you claiming that stalking is either child abuse or neglect, greg?