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Article

Fawn T. Ngo

Few studies have explored the correlates of police responses to the crime of stalking. The purpose of this paper is to examine the correlates of nine specific police…

Abstract

Purpose

Few studies have explored the correlates of police responses to the crime of stalking. The purpose of this paper is to examine the correlates of nine specific police actions (no action, multiple actions, took a report, talked to perpetrator, arrested perpetrator, recommended PO or RO, recommended self-protection, referred to prosecutor’s office and referred to social services) to this type of crime. This study found three of the four incident measures (victim-offender relationship, intimidation and physical injury) and three of the four victim demographic measures (age, gender and marital status) significantly predicted seven of the nine police actions.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this study came from the 2006 Stalking Victimization Supplement of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The sample included stalking cases that were reported to the police and all measures were constructed using victims’ responses to survey questionnaires. Nine logistic regression models were estimated and in each model, four incident characteristic variables and four victim demographic variables were regressed on each of the nine police actions.

Findings

This study found three of the four incident characteristic measures (victim-offender relationship, intimidation, and physical injury) and three of the four victim demographic variables (age, gender and marital status) were significantly related to seven of the nine specific police actions (no action, multiple actions, arrested perpetrator, recommended PO or RO, recommended self-protection, referred to prosecutor’s office and referred to social services). None of the incident characteristic and victim demographic measures were related to two of the nine specific police actions (took a report and talked to perpetrator).

Research limitations/implications

This study possesses the same shortcomings associated with the NCVS. The current study involves cross-sectional, official data that are over 10 years old. The measures employed in the current study are victims’ perceptions of how the officers acted. The study does not include information regarding how many times the victim contacted the police or the nature of the stalking episode. The study excludes other variables (suspect’s demeanor, the presence of witnesses) that may be relevant in examining subsequent police responses to stalking.

Practical implications

Frontline offices should be required to undertake stalking training. Further, stalking training needs to be conducted independently from domestic violence training. Mandatory stalking training for law enforcement officers will lead to a greater comprehension of existing stalking statute for the officers as well as help increase the number of offenders being identified and charged with this crime by the officers.

Social implications

Police inaction to reported stalking not only dissuade victims from reporting future victimizations, it will also result in stalking being an under-reported crime. Police inaction could potentially compromise victim safety and/or offender accountability. Police inaction also undermines the legitimacy of law enforcement and attenuates the relationship between citizens and police agencies.

Originality/value

To date, only one study has examined the correlates of subsequent police responses to the crime of stalking. However, this study employed broad measures of police actions (formal and informal). The current study involves specific police actions (e.g. taking a report, referring the victim to social service agencies). Contrary to the prior study that found none of the incident and victim characteristics was related to two broad measures of subsequent police responses, this study found several incident and victim measures significantly predicted seven specific police actions.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article

Simon C. Duff and Adrian J. Scott

Perception research has demonstrated that people view stranger stalkers to be more persistent and dangerous than ex‐partner stalkers. Although these findings are…

Abstract

Purpose

Perception research has demonstrated that people view stranger stalkers to be more persistent and dangerous than ex‐partner stalkers. Although these findings are consistent with the outcome of legal processes where stranger stalkers are more likely to be convicted, they contrast with the findings of national surveys and applied research where ex‐partner stalkers represent the most persistent and dangerous relational subtype. The aim of the current study is to further examine the influence of prior relationship on perceptions of stalking by considering the impact of additional contextual information regarding the breakdown of ex‐partners’ relationships for the first time.

Design/methodology/approach

In this vignette study 180 women were randomly assigned to one of seven conditions and asked to complete five 11‐point Likert scale items relating to another person's behaviour. The relationship between that person and themselves was manipulated across the seven conditions so that the person was described as either a stranger, an acquaintance, an ex‐partner or an ex‐partner with additional contextual information regarding the breakdown of the relationship.

Findings

Participants were less likely to perceive behaviour as stalking or as requiring police intervention, and were more likely to perceive themselves as responsible, when the other person was portrayed as an ex‐partner rather than a stranger. However, perceptions of ex‐partners differed considerably when contextual information regarding the breakdown of the relationship was provided.

Practical implications

The findings have important implications for victims of stalking and the legal system. Examining the influence of prior relationship on perceptions of stalking when additional contextual information is provided can be used to better inform potential victims so as to reduce the risk of serious harm. Additionally, the influence this information has on perceptions of ex‐partner stalkers may have implications for how the legal system understands and deals with ex‐partner stalking cases.

Social implications

The findings have important implications for victims of stalking and the legal system. Examining the influence of prior relationship on perceptions of stalking when additional contextual information is provided can be used to better inform potential victims so as to reduce the risk of serious harm. Additionally, the influence this information has on perceptions of ex‐partner stalkers may have implications for how the legal system understands and deals with ex‐partner stalking cases.

Originality/value

Previous research has demonstrated that perceptions of stalking are influenced by the prior relationship between the stalker and the victim. This has implications for the conviction of stalkers and intervention for stalkers and victims. This research demonstrates that with limited contextual information outlining the reason for relationship breakdown the perceptions of stalking change. This finding may be of value to individuals who do not recognise they are at risk and to the legal system.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Ethnographies of Law and Social Control
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-128-6

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Article

Jeanie M. Welch

One of the newest crimes to be put on the books is stalking, usually defined as repeatedly being in the presence of another person with the intent to cause emotional…

Abstract

One of the newest crimes to be put on the books is stalking, usually defined as repeatedly being in the presence of another person with the intent to cause emotional distress or bodily harm after being warned or requested not to do so. Stalking must be done over a period of time to indicate a pattern or continuity of purpose. Threats against a person or person's family may be stated or implied in stalking. Stalking victims are followed and harassed at work, at school, and at home. Stalking can also be done electronically, either using computers to send harassing e‐mail messages or by jamming telefacsimile machines with unwanted transmissions. There have been numerous high‐profile stalking cases that gained a great deal of publicity and focused attention on stalking. “Celebrity stalking” cases came to the public's attention in 1982 when actress Theresa Saldana was stabbed by a stalker. In 1989 actress Rebecca Schaeffer was shot and killed by a man who had stalked her for two years. In the 1990s the assault on skater Nancy Kerrigan, television talk shows and movies, and nonfiction works on stalking, including cases that ended with the death of the stalking victim, have focused public attention on this issue.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Book part

Joanne Belknap and Deanne Grant

Gender-based abuses (GBAs; more frequently referred to as ‘violence against women’) have been a concern of current day feminists and their predecessors, dating back…

Abstract

Gender-based abuses (GBAs; more frequently referred to as ‘violence against women’) have been a concern of current day feminists and their predecessors, dating back centuries, but only came under broader scrutiny in the latter half of the twentieth century. The goal of this chapter is to provide a historical overview of the emergence of feminist concerns and activism that led to a largely global identification and recognition of the prevalence and ramifications of GBA. The chapter includes a range of GBAs, such as sexual harassment, stalking, sex trafficking, and forced marriage, but focusses primarily on intimate partner abuse and rape. It is beyond the scope of one chapter, or even one book, to adequately address the efforts to respond to GBA across the world. Instead, the authors hope to describe the work by feminist activists and scholars to identify GBA as a serious and prevalent social problem, the various and often overlapping types of GBA, and the work to design and implement a range of responses to deter GBA, advocate for GBA survivors, hold gender-based abusers accountable, and provide safer communities. In addition to the early attempts to assess and respond to GBA, this chapter covers some of the most original and innovative documentations and responses to GBA from across the globe.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Feminism, Criminology and Social Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-956-4

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Article

Johanna E. Mercer and Clare Sarah Allely

Despite an increasing number of studies that examine sexual offending behaviour in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) individuals, there has been a lack of research…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite an increasing number of studies that examine sexual offending behaviour in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) individuals, there has been a lack of research investigating stalking and ASD. This study aims to carry out a scoping review following PRISMA guidelines to identify studies which have been carried out exploring stalking behaviour in individuals with threshold or subthreshold ASD.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of five bibliographic databases were searched to identify studies which explored ASD in relation to stalking and harassment (including case studies as well as empirical studies).

Findings

A total of five relevant articles were identified in the present review. One article contained a case study. In a short report, the authors discussed stalking and ASD. One paper explored ASD and stalking behaviour in employment settings and specific interventions that could be used in such environments. Another paper focused on stalking behaviour in those with ASD in school settings. The final paper examined stalking and social and romantic functioning in individuals with ASD. This final paper contained only the empirical study identified in this search.

Practical implications

The studies identified in this review clearly highlight the need for intensive socio-sexual interventions to improve social interaction skills and romantic functioning in individuals with ASD. There is also a need for schools to provide sex education programs for individuals with ASD.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first review looking at ASD and stalking.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Book part

Bridget Harris, Molly Dragiewicz and Delanie Woodlock

Goal 5 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prioritises gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Key to achieving this is…

Abstract

Goal 5 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prioritises gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Key to achieving this is addressing violence against women (VAW; see SDG target 5.2) and, we believe, understanding the role of technology in both enacting and combating VAW. In this chapter, we outline how technology-facilitated VAW threatens women's use of technology and discuss policies and practices of support workers and practitioners that aid safe use of digital media. We consider features of technology-facilitated VAW advocacy which differ from traditional VAW advocacy, using examples from the Global North and South. Information communication technologies (ICTs) are used by VAW advocates in a range of ways; to provide information and education about domestic violence, safe use of technology and negotiating the legal and criminal justice systems; collect evidence about abuse; provide support; and pursue social change. As the capabilities and prevalence of ICT and devices increase and access costs decrease, these channels offer new and innovative opportunities capitalising on the spacelessness, cost-effectiveness and timelessness of media. Nonetheless, technological initiatives are not perfect or failsafe. Throughout the pages that follow, we acknowledge the limitations and challenges of technology-facilitated advocacy, which could hinder application of the SDG.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Crime, Justice and Sustainable Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-355-5

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Article

Cheris Kramarae and Jana Kramer

Many Internet researchers state that computer networks provide anegalitarian forum where users are not labeled by gender, race, age,national origin or disability. This…

Abstract

Many Internet researchers state that computer networks provide an egalitarian forum where users are not labeled by gender, race, age, national origin or disability. This assertion ignores the experiences of many women using electronic communication systems. Focusses on several legal issues of special relevance to women, including pornography and hate speech, stalking and sexual harassment, and exclusionary practices. Suggests that the conceptual models used in this research and Internet work may help to determine future legal practices.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article

Brian K. Payne, Bruce L. Berg and Jeff Toussaint

When elder abuse first surfaced as a social problem, the response to the problem was grounded in the belief that the victims would be best served with as little criminal…

Abstract

When elder abuse first surfaced as a social problem, the response to the problem was grounded in the belief that the victims would be best served with as little criminal justice involvement as possible. This changed in the late 1980s and early 1990s when elder abuse was criminalized by politicians, and police were expected to treat the problem as a crime problem despite the fact that very little research had considered the best law enforcement response to elder abuse. In this research, we surveyed 119 police chiefs to see how their departments handled allegations of abuse. We also address the problems they confront in elder abuse cases and the special programs and policies they have implemented to deal with the victimization of elderly persons. Results show that traditional criminal justice techniques are followed for the most part, and only about a third of the departments implemented special elder abuse programs. Also, they confront numerous problems that are common when police are expected to enforce new laws.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article

Rob Ewin, Elizabeth A. Bates and Julie C. Taylor

The use of emergency barring orders (EBO) in the form of domestic violence protection notices and orders (DVPN-O) in reported domestic abuse (DA) cases is a relatively new…

Abstract

Purpose

The use of emergency barring orders (EBO) in the form of domestic violence protection notices and orders (DVPN-O) in reported domestic abuse (DA) cases is a relatively new development in the UK; the effectiveness of these orders has been challenged. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors influencing their issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Freedom of information (FOI) requests were used alongside a survey tool. Practitioners (n = 76; mainly police practitioners) were asked about approaches to EBO application, risk and training around DA.

Findings

The findings indicate that applications are impacted largely by domestic abuse stalking harassment risk grading, typically resulting in high-risk cases receiving the most attention. Criticisms suggesting that DVPN-Os are of limited use receive some support from this study; however, as their use is restricted to these higher-risk cases, the full effect of the orders may be limited. The most important factors in decision-making are the level of physical violence, repeated victimization and the victims support for a DVPN-O. Police intelligence and the presence of children also have an effect on risk ratings. Less importance was given to lower risk–graded cases, wider intelligence from family members and information from social networks. Findings also indicate that police training is largely limited to “on-the-job” experience, e-learning and e-mail bulletins.

Practical implications

Respondents proposed that training could be enhanced through victim stories, cross-discipline approaches and wider knowledge beyond isolated specialisms. A number of recommendations are made in line with: structuring professional judgment, using victim accounts in police training and movement toward an evidence-led approach.

Originality/value

This research demonstrates a clear link to the way in which risk and the use of EBO are used by police officers. This research also highlights the desire to see and hear from victims in police training. The value of this research is shown in both the combined approach of FOI requests and a survey and assessing a currently under-researched area of DA response.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

Keywords

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