Stalking Facts and Statistics

 *According to a special report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 3.4 million people over the age of 18 were victims of stalking in 2006. Almost half of those victims reported that they had experienced at least one instance of unwanted contact per week; furthermore, eleven percent of the victims had been stalked for more than five years (Baum et al., 2009).

*Thirty-four percent of stalking victims reported that their stalker followed and spied on them. Those stalkers were also likely to show up at places where their victim would be without a justifiable reason (Baum et al., 2009).

*Male and female stalking victimizations are equally likely to be reported to the police; however, women are more likely than men to experience stalking victimization. The subset of women most likely to be stalked were women who were divorced or separated (Baum et al., 2009).

*3 out of 4 victims of stalking are acquainted with their stalker in some way (Baum et al., 2009).

*Stalking causes fear and emotional distress that manifests in a variety of ways; for instance:
      -1 in 5 victims of stalking fear that they will suffer bodily harm.
      -1 in 6 victims of stalking fear for the safety of their family members, especially their children.
      -1 in 20 victims fear being killed by their stalker.
The above statistics are further reinforced by the fact that 4 out of 10 stalkers threaten their victims or their victims' families, friends, co-workers, or pets (Baum et al., 2009).

*The risk of being stalked goes down with age. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics' report, women between the ages of 18 to 24 experience the highest rate of stalking victimization. Also, the risk of being stalked is lower for people with higher incomes. As a person's income increases, their risk of being stalked decreases (Baum et al., 2009).

*Victims tend to be stalked by someone of the same age group as themselves; furthermore, stalking is mostly intraracial in that victims are usually stalked by someone of their own race (Baum et al., 2009).

*Asians and Hispanics are the racial groups that experience stalking victimization least frequently (Asians- 7 per 1000 people; Hispanics- 11 per 1000 people). Whites are slightly more likely to experience stalking victimization (14 per 1000 people) than blacks (12 per 1000 people); furthermore, people of two or more races experience the highest rate of stalking victimization (32 per 1000 people) (Baum et al., 2009).

*Sixty-two percent of young adults have been victims of stalking-like behaviors after a break-up of an intimate relationship (Frieze & Davis, 2002).

*Stalking puts additional expenses on the victim; for instance, 3 out of 10 stalking victims have to pay for things like damage to their property, attorney fees and other legal costs, child care costs, expenses related to moving to avoid their stalker, and changing their phone numbers. Seven percent of victims also lost time from work in order to accomplish the above tasks (Baum et al., 2009).

*In 2006, 130,000 victims of stalking were either fired or asked to leave their job because of their stalking victimization and the performance problems and work disruption it caused (Baum et al., 2009).

*According to research based on the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's jointly-sponsored National Violence Against Women Survey, women who experience stalking victimization in intimate relationships are also likely to experience violence from their partners; specifically, 81 percent of women who were stalked by their current or former spouse or cohabitating partner were also physically abused by that partner. Furthermore, 31 percent were sexually assaulted by their partner (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998).

*According to an article entitled "Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide" published in Homicide Studies, 76 percent of female murder victims had been stalked before they were murdered (McFarlane et al., 1999).