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Stalking behavior has existed since the beginning of human history. Until recently, however, this behavior had never been labeled as a distinct pattern of deviant social behavior--let alone a crime. In fact, it was not until the passage of the first anti-stalking statute in 1990 that such behavior became illegal. Since this event, legislators, criminal justice professionals, and victim service providers have started to examine the nature of and psychological motivations behind stalking behavior. Still, the study of stalking and the development of effective response strategies is a discipline that is very much in its infancy. New information, issues, and challenges related to stalking come to light on a daily basis. The rapid evolution of this issue places ever-increasing demands on the field to stay current about how best to assist victims and respond effectively to stalkers.

Learning objectives include:

  • The definition of stalking.
  • The characteristics of stalkers and their victims.
  • The categories used to classify stalking cases.
  • The methods and motives of stalkers.
  • The impact of stalking on victims.
  • Response strategies for victims being stalked.