Stopping the stalker: Victim responses to stalking
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Can a person truly overcome being a victim of crime, and, if so, how? Can anyone surpass their victimization, or is it only the most resilient? Should a victim respond in a certain way to specific types of offences? The following chapter explores these questions, focusing on the offence of stalking, and examines the effectiveness of victim responses to unwanted pursuit. This chapter also refers to factors that may escalate stalking behaviour, based on an empirical examination of previous studies. The authors attempt to unravel the uncertainties associated with whether or not to respond to a stalker, and highlight the need for clearer focus on victim responses and education. An illustration of stalking and persistence in management of the offence on the part of the victim is provided through the lens of one stalking victim’s account, Dr Doreen Orion, an American psychiatrist. Orion met her obsessed stalker, ‘Fran’, in 1989. In her published account, I know you really love me: A psychiatrist’s account of stalking and obsessive love, Orion explains that for eight years, she experienced a living nightmare. Orion’s encounter neatly encompasses the myriad of dangers associated with the phenomenon of stalking and provides a victim perspective. It is apparent that all too often, victims do not know how to respond to stalking and are, quite often, unable to reconcile why they are the object of another’s vehement affection or animosity.
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