Volume 46, Issue 6 (November 2001)
Predicting Violent Behavior in Stalkers: A Preliminary Investigation of Canadian Cases in Criminal Harassment
This study examined the factors associated with violent/aggressive behavior in stalkers using a sample of 100 Canadian cases of persons charged with criminal harassment (more commonly known as stalking). Results revealed that the typical profile of a “simple obsessional” type of stalker was a middle-aged male, single or separated/estranged, with a history of emotional and/or anger management problems. The most common initial strategies used by the victims to cope with the stalkers were oriented towards legal resources. Initial legal remedies, including court orders or police warnings, seemed to be ineffective as a strategy to stop stalking given that most stalkers chose to ignore them. The study also provided partial support for a preliminary model of predictors of violent/aggressive behavior in stalkers. Stalkers with previous violent behaviors, strong negative emotions, and obsessional tendencies toward the victim may be most at risk of future violent and aggressive acts.