The first thing I want to say is you can not predict who is going to be stalked, or why they are being stalked. I have heard from so many victims and survivors of stalking that have said people have suggested to them that maybe “they” did something wrong that made them a target. WRONG! It is never the victims fault. It wasn’t what they were wearing, it wasn’t how friendly they were, it wasn’t anything that THEY need to change, it is the person that exhibits the stalking behavior – not the victim!
There are so many different types of stalkers and stalking situations.
Facts from Purcell et al 2001; Meloy & Boyd 2003. There are 5 different typology classifications that are usually stated:
1. The rejected stalker
2. The resentful stalker
3. The intimacy seeker
4. The incompetent suitor
5. The predatory stalker
Personality disorders are predominate in the rejected stalker, erotomania can be the drive behind the resentful stalker, the intimacy seeker stalker is said to have paranoid disorders, the incompetent suitor often is an intellectually limited or a socially disabled individual, and the predatory stalker is believed to be a sexual deviant.
Female stalkers usually have higher rates of psychosis than men.
Stalking is a serious crime. Risks associated with stalking:
4. Psychosocial Damage
Adults between 18 and 29 years old are the primary targets of stalking, comprising 52% of all victims. (Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women website)
Stalking is the most under reported crime in our nation. Why? Some victims and survivors have told me they don’t think they will be believed, some say they are embarrassed, others say they thought if they just ignored it then it would all go away…make no mistake your stalker won’t just go away. Morgan thought if she ignored her stalker he would just go away – that never happened. For stalkers it is most often a compulsion and they don’t stop.
Here are some statistics:
- 83% of stalking incidents were NOT reported to police or campus law enforcement (Ibid).
- 93.4% of victims confided in someone, most often a friend that they were being stalked (Ibid).
- 26.7% of victims considered their victimization a personal matter, and did not report it to police.
- Additionally, only “7% of victims contacted victim services, a shelter, or a helpline”(Baum, Catalano,& Rand, 2009).
I believe so much more awareness about the true facts about stalking is needed. It is an extremely serious and life-changing crime. I understand why people that have never been stalked don’t completely understand – in the beginning of Morgan’s stalking she didn’t understand why she was targeted, and we had no idea about how lethal stalking could be.
During Morgan’s stalking some people said, “Well maybe it’s just kids playing ding-dong-ditch, or just a joke.” It wasn’t a joke, it was a constant frightening pattern of stalking. She was regularly frightened, startled, surveilled, and followed. Her life was taken from her. It was not a kids game, it was a lethal game of cat and mouse and Morgan lost her life.
Our once bright and safe house became a dark fortress. Our peaceful evenings were no longer peaceful – they had become terrifying, stressful, and exhausting. The more precautions we took the more her stalker seemed to enjoy his game. This is why the Colorado State Legislature urges early intervention before stalking escalates into something more serious.
We were told in the beginning not to share information about Morgan’s stalking with neighbors because the sheriffs believed her stalker was living in our neighborhood. We know now that was not good advise – we should have shared the information immediately and often so others would become aware. Also having neighbors who were watching out and reporting anything they saw would have been extremely helpful. Rest assured as the sheriffs were called to our house on a regular basis the neighbors could see something was going on, so who were we kidding? Community involvement is very important. Victims should tell everyone, family, friends, neighbors, classmates, teachers, employers, co-workers…everyone.
Here is a very powerful youtube that will give you a little more understanding about the danger of stalkers: