Editorial: When do repeated intrusions become stalking?

  • Purcell R
  • Pathé M
  • Mullen P
  • 20

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 65

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Stalking is a prevalent crime which can significantly compromise the victim's quality of life. It occurs when one person repeatedly inflicts on another unwanted contacts or communications which induce fear. Many of the behaviours associated with stalking overlap with common, albeit irritating, experiences (e.g. being persistently telephoned or approached for a date). The difficulty for victims is recognizing the difference between brief episodes of intrusiveness or social awkwardness, and the beginnings of a more persistent campaign of harassment. This study sought to define empirically the foremost juncture at which instances of intrusiveness can be distinguished from persistent stalking which is ultimately damaging to the victim's psychosocial functioning. The results indicate that continuation of unwanted intrusions beyond a threshold of 2 weeks is associated with a more intrusive, threatening and psychologically damaging course of harassment. Recognition that 2 weeks is the watershed between brief, self-limiting instances of intrusiveness and protracted stalking allows an opportunity for early intervention to assist victims of this crime.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Harassment
  • Mental health
  • Stalking
  • Threats

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free