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Violence Vict. 2000 Spring;15(1):7-22.

Comparing stalking victimization from legal and victim perspectives.

Author information

1
Center for Policy Research, Denver, Colorado 80218, USA.

Abstract

Because stalking has only recently been recognized as a serious social problem and criminal justice concern, it is not surprising that there is little consensus among lawmakers about what constitutes stalking. To further understanding of how legal definitions and victim definitions of stalking intersect and diverge, this study compares stalking prevalence using a definition of stalking that is based on the model antistalking code for states developed by the Federal government versus a definition of stalking that is victim delineated. Data for the study come from a national telephone survey that queried 8,000 men and 8,000 women about their experiences with stalking victimization using both direct questions that contained the word "stalking" and behaviorally specific questions. Results show that prevalence estimates increase when respondents are allowed to self-define stalking victimization. However, victim definitions of stalking tend to converge with the model antistalking code's definition of stalking in the vast majority of cases. Only 4% of survey respondents defined themselves as stalking victims but failed to meet the legal definition of a stalking victim. A negligible proportion denied being stalked despite the fact they met the legal definition of a stalking victim.

PMID:
10972511
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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