Facts and Statistics That Emphasize How Stalking Impacts Mental Health

Lower view of professional woman walking on a rainy cobblestone roadEvery January since 2004, National Stalking Awareness Month has taken place to raise awareness of the impact stalking can have on its victims. Below are some stalking statistics and facts that highlight just how detrimental stalking can be to a person’s safety, mental health, and emotional well-being.

If you are being stalked, stay alert and reach out for help. Making sure trusted friends or family members know about the situation is a good idea, as is documenting any evidence of the stalking and reporting the incident to your local law enforcement.

Stalking Statistics: The Big Picture

  • 6 to 7.5 million people may be stalked in the United States each year.
  • 1.8 years is the average length of a stalking episode.
  • 37% of people who are stalked meet the diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • People who are stalked report more cases of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues than the rest of the population.

Statistical Risk Factors for Being Stalked

  • 50% of victims report being stalked before age 25, making 18 to 24 the highest-risk age group for being stalked.
  • 24.5% of stalking victims in the U.S. are Native American while 22.4% are multiracial, according the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • 11% of mental health professionals have been stalked.
  • 3.4% of stalking victims are separated or divorced.

How Stalking Impacts Victims

  • 1 in 5 people change their daily routine due to being stalked.
  • 1 in 6 people change their phone number as a result of stalking.
  • 1 in 7 people are forced to move after being stalked.
  • 1 in 8 people who are employed are impacted at their jobs or lose time at work because of stalking. Another study from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that this number is much higher, with over half of those stalked being affected at work.

Stalking on College Campuses

  • 7% to 28% of college students report being stalked.
  • 40% of college students responded to a poll saying they had engaged in at least one type of stalking after the end of a relationship.
  • Up to 80% of people stalked on a college campus may know who their stalker is.

Stalking and the Justice System

  • 50% or fewer of all stalking cases may be reported to the police.
  • 16.5% of domestic violence reports included stalking, according to one study.
  • Fewer than 1 out of 3 states count stalking as a felony when it’s a first offense.

Facts About Stalkers

  • 1 in 5 stalking incidents involve a weapon used by the stalker.
  • Stalkers are often acquaintances or former partners.
  • 66% of stalkers target their victim at least once a week.

It’s normal for stalking to cause strong feelings of fear, anxiety, and even anger in those who are targeted. Working with a compassionate therapist can help you overcome trauma and other mental health impacts of stalking.

References:

  1. Ngo, F. (2018). Same-sex and opposite-sex stalking in the United States: An exploration of the correlates of informal and formal coping strategies of the victims. International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, 1(13), 230-246. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1403433
  2. Stalking fact sheet. (n.d.). Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center. Retrieved from https://www.stalkingawareness.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SPARC_StalkngFactSheet_2018_FINAL.pdf
  3. Stalking. (2017, July 24). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=973
  4. Stalking. (2016). The National Center for Victims of Crime. Retrieved from https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw2016/content/section-6/PDF/2016NCVRW_6_Stalking-508.pdf
  5. Stalking statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sites.jcu.edu/vpac/pages/educate-yourself/stalking/stalking-statistics
  6. Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000). The role of stalking in domestic violence crime reports generated by the Colorado Springs Police Department. Violence and Victims, 15(4), 427-441. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11288939
  7. Quick guide to stalking: 16 important statistics, and what you can do about it. (2017, January 30). National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Retrieved from https://ncadv.org/blog/posts/quick-guide-to-stalking-16-important-statistics-and-what-you-can-do-about-it
  8. West, S. G., & Hatters-Friedman, S. (2008, August 10). These boots are made for stalking: Characteristics of female stalkers. Psychiatry (Edgemont), 5(8), 37-42. Retrieved from http://innovationscns.com/these-boots-are-made-for-stalking-characteristics-of-female-stalkers

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