Stalking is a relatively common occurrence and can be seen as a threat to the affected individuals. Victims of stalking can be defined as those who have been repeatedly approached, followed, placed under surveillance and contacted by undesired individuals. Perpetrators are not only strangers, by could also ex-spouse, ex-lover, immediate family member or any person who had a relationship with the victim.
Victims may suffer significant emotional distresses. In general, women are likely victims of stalking, although men can also be affected as well. Nearly 90 percent of the perpetrators are men and they can stalk victims almost each day or most of the week. In some cases, weapons can be used, which may cause physical injuries and even death. It is also disturbing to know that many of these stalkers are actually serial offenders of the same crime.
Victims might rationalize at first that these individuals may not stalk them, but after repeated occurrences and unmistakable patterns, it is easy to see that a stalking offense has occurred. About a third of the victims could suffer serious mental or psychological distress due to repeated stalking. They could start to lose their freedom and often need to ask a friend to accompany them whenever they go.
If they need to go alone, they will be frightened in less crowded places. They could be afraid to go home directly, since the stalker may know where they live. In fact, it could be frightening to open the apartment or house door, because the stalker may wait outside. In some cases, the stalking incident could cause victims to relocate to a different city to throw the stalker off their trail.
So, why strangers persistently stalk their victims although they don’t know each other? It is often found that the stalker has formed a one-sided relationship with the victim. Stalking is likely to happen if the person is emotionally controlling and feel that they already in a relationship with the victim. It is clear that many stalkers have specific emotional issues caused by anxious attachment and poor relationship with parents.
They could also have difficulty communicating with the opposite sex in real life, making them more obsessive with someone they are interested with. In general, these stalkers have poor social capability and they can’t approach women in normal ways like any typical man.
Stalkers can be particularly resourceful and persistent. Many victims try to avoid stalkers to no avail and they can’t always travel with companions and other friends at all times. Victims often need to install comprehensive home security system and they need to go to counselling. Depending on the states and countries, stalking can be seen as a felony of first or second offense.
In general, victims should immediately call the policy and inform the security staff in their office, apartment building or housing complex. Family members and friends should be notified, so they can provide support and protection.
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