Monday, July 17, 2006

Stalking is a public health issue

…In the Aug issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Kathleen Basile, PhD, studied 10,000 adults. Of this number, 4.5% reported having been stalked.

…This amounts to 7 million women and 2 million men in the U.S.

…Although it makes a better movie or TV show if the stalker is some creepy ne’er-do-well who takes a shine to an attractive woman who doesn’t know he’s alive, most stalkers and victims are acquainted.

…Most stalkees are young, just as most victims of violence are young.

…African-Americans are much less likely to be stalked than Caucasians.

…Former spouses or partners are the most likely to stalk.

…If your ex- or partner tended to be violent or abusive, look out for stalking. Stalking, one doc said, is another tool in the abusive armamentarium of the (abusive partner).”

…Stalkers vary. A celebrity stalker is different, the study says, “from a socially unskilled, awkward, poorly put-together individual who thinks a neighbor who says ‘Hi’ in the hallway is romantically interested in them,” one researcher said. (Different how, HA wonders.)

…Most stalking does not result in bloody mayhem. The stalker may be arrested, hospitalized, move away, or get tired of it.

…Some people find it flattering if someone is possessive. But there is a line, the researchers said. When you are uncomfortable, stressed, or afraid, seek a restraining order.

…Policing of this is sketchy, at best, although it is a crime in many states. You have to persist.

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