Menstuff® has compiled the following information on
This page considers infocrime, security and kids online.
It covers -
digital stranger danger
We are recurrently asked about online threats to children and regimes for their protection, ranging from supervision by parents/guardians to special areas in cyberspace (eg US proposals for a dot XXX, dot sex or dot porn TLD).
Many claims about the incidence of online solicitation are poorly based, although it's common to see assertions in the mass media such as "in 1999, one in five children with Internet access were sexually approached on the web" by adults (a claim that is based on a distortion of more nuanced - albeit worrying - research findings).
We'll be looking at particular studies in future and considering particular proposals. In the interim this page highlights some research of potential interest.
digital stranger danger
The 2001 report on Online Victimization: A Report on the Nations Youth (PDF) provides one point of reference.
The report was produced by David Finkelhor, Kimberly Mitchell & Janis Wolak under the auspices of the Crimes Against Children Research Center (NCCRC) at the University of New Hampshire in the US. It was complemented by an account, from the same authors, on Risk Factors for & Impact of Online Sexual Solicitation of Youth in 2001 Journal of the American Medical Association (the JAMA abstract is here). The findings drew on an interview-based survey of 1,501 US youths aged 10 to 17 who use the net regularly.
It sought to measure the extent to which young people were exposed to explicit content, received sexual solicitations from other users and were distressed by the incident. 25% reported having had at least one unwanted exposure to sexual images in the year prior to the survey, a figure consistent with a 2001 Kaiser Family Foundation/NPR survey in which 31% of those aged 10 to 17 with computers at home reported seeing a "pornographic" site.
The very broad definition of "pornographic" means that the figure should be used with caution. Commercial studies, for example a 2001 Netvalue report indicate that around 20% of surfers aged under 18 deliberately visit adult content sites.
One in five reported receiving a sexual solicitation or approach during the preceding year, with one in 30 receiving an aggressive sexual solicitation. (The latter concerns offline contact with the perpetrator through the post, by phone, in person or requests for offline contact). Girls were solicitated at around twice the rate of boys (66% v 34%). Under 10% of those solicitations were reported to law enforcement agencies.
The one in five figure has received considerable attention. It is important to note that solicitation is broadly defined and that it covers contact by peers, adults or contacts whose age/identity is unknown.
75% of the solicited youth were not troubled. Those who were tended to be younger children or recipients of more aggressive solicitation involving attempted/actual offline contact. Distress was higher when solicitation occurred on a computer at someone else's home.
The Kaiser study suggested that 45% of those aged 14-17 had encountered an 'adult' site (broadly defined), compared with 15% of those aged 10-13. Another Kaiser study (PDF) indicated that among online teens (ages 15-17) around 70% say they had accidentally come across "pornography" on the web, though 77% said they have never come across it or come across it "not too often."
Notably, only 6% of the NCCR youth reported that accidentally viewing a sexually explicit image was distressing to them. 75% of those who had experienced an online solicitation were not "very upset or afraid". (The second Kaiser study found that 55% of those who'd encountered such images indicated that they were not at all upset or "not too upset.")
A 2001 study by UK childrens charity claimed that one in four British kids had been "bullied or threatened via a mobile phone or PC. 16% of the 81 participants indicated that they had received bullying text messages, 7% indicating harassment in chat rooms and 4% via email. 29% of those surveyed told no one. Of those who did report the harassment, 42% told a friend and 32% told a parent.
WiredPatrol, an offshoot of the US CyberAngels group, claims that in a survey 10,800 teenage girls conducted in 1998 ... 12% of the teen girls polled admitted to meeting Internet strangers offline.
Few details of that survey by Berson, Ferron & Aftab, involving visitors to the Seventeen magazine site, are available and the figure should thus be used with caution.
Elsewhere WiredPatrol claims that
there are 200,000 real life stalkers in America today. That is out of a population of around 250 million, so that is 0.008% of the United States population. In other words there are roughly 1 in 1250 persons is a stalker. Statistics also show that over 1.5 million Americans today have been or are currently stalking victims: that is 0.6%, or 1 person in 166. If these ratios were reflected on the Internet (and no one actually knows these figures), then out of the estimated population of 79 million people worldwide on the Internet, we would find 63,000 Internet stalkers traveling the information superhighway, stalking approximately 474,000 victims
The 2000 New Zealand Girls on the Net study (PDF) - hailed as "a clear warning that there is no time to waste in moving forward with this national Internet Safety initiative" - claimed that 35% of 347 female respondents aged 11-19 had a "personal face-to face meeting with someone they met on the internet".
Of that group 86% met with males, 38% met with someone 18 or older, 5% met with someone 25 or older. Figures on outcomes of that contact - adverse or otherwise - are not available. Critics have commented that such figures are not significantly different from meetings following contact on a bus, at a sports event, a cinema or other occasion.
As preceding paragraphs suggest, much contemporary concern regarding kids and the net relates to messaging, in particular chat and instant messaging (IM). We've discussed specific questions in a supplementary profile on this site.
The extent to which minors are exposed to (and affected by) online offensive content and the appropriate mechanisms for addressing that exposure remain contentious.
In discussing online censorship and free speech elsewhere on this site we've highlighted particular legal and technical questions (eg filters), along with debate about current and past regulation of pornography, games, film and comics.
Statistics about any child abuse are sobering, although there is considerable disagreement about particular figures, their interpretation and data collection methodologies.
Other research from the NCCR claims that kids aged 12-17 constitute 25% of all US violent crime victims and 11% of all US homicides in 1997 were of people aged under 18. The sexual assault rate for those under 18 was 2.7 times higher than for adults (3.2 per 1,000) and the majority of sexual assaults reported to police involved juveniles (70% of forcible sex offenses and 95% of non-forcible sex offenses in 1995). One self-report study suggests that 51% of lifetime rapes occur prior to 18 and 29% prior to age 12, with 20% of adult females and 10% of adult males recalling a childhood sexual assault/incident.
Examination of the report suggests - in line with the Pew Internet study noted below and the 2002 US National Academies' Youth, Pornography & the Internet report discussed in our Censorship guide - that most kids and their parents are managing exposure to inappropriate content (e.g. adult images or text) and online meetings. Much of the concern underlying 'digital stranger danger' tracts such as Katherine Tarbox's Katie.com: My Story (New York: Dutton 2000) is not specific to the net and indeed, like murder, most sexual offences are likely to involve a family member or friend. 10% of the NCCR subjects did not use chat rooms. 9% did not talk to online strangers.
Perhaps the most useful conclusion from the documents is the comment that
Professionals and parents should be prepared to educate youth about how to respond to on-line sexual solicitation, including encouraging youth to disclose and report such encounters and to talk about them
A more positive set of figures appears in Teenage Life Online: The Rise of the Instant-message Generation and the Internet's impact on Friendships and Family Relationships, a report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. It suggests that the net is an integral part of the lives of most US teenagers, challenging the telephone as a means of communication.
The report drew on phone interviews and focus sessions with 754 youth aged 12 to 17 and 754 of their parents. It estimates about 17 million US teens are online, 73% of that age group compared to 56% of adults. Being online plays a major role in relationships with friends, families and schools. Both kids and their parents generally think use of the net enhances the social life and academic work of children, although both worry that the technology is "not an unqualified good".
76% of online teens say they would miss the net if they could no longer go online.
75% use instant messaging
48% say being online improves their relationship with friends
32% say the net helps them make new friends.
55% of parents with online teens think that the net is a good thing for their own children; 6% say it has been a bad thing.
55% of parents indicated that use of the net is "essential" if their kids are to be successful. A further 40% believe it is "important"
two-thirds of parents think online content is at least as worrisome as that on television
64% of online teens said use of the net takes away from the time spent with their families.
In contrast to some accounts highlighted in our Censorship guide, few of Pew's respondents appear to be passive.
Most of the online teens used different screen names and email accounts to manage their communications and the information that comes to them. 24% said that one of those addresses or screen names was a secret one used when they did not want mates to know they were online. Many reported pretending to be different people and are aware that they may have been given false information by others. 33% for example reported that someone had given them fake information, although that primarily relates to members of their own age group.
24% of online teens have built their own web pages.
15% of online teens (25% of older boys online) have lied about their age to access a web site - an act that often is used to gain access to pornography sites.
57% of parents worry that strangers will contact their children online, a figure consistent with figures about fears of contact offline. Close to 60% of teens had received an instant message or an email from a stranger. 50% report emailing or instant messaging with someone they have not met before. 52% of online teens said they were not at all worried about being contacted online, with 23% expressing any notable level of concern.
Parental content management strategies were consistent with the Australian Broadcasting Authority's 2001 Families@Home study, with 70% of online families locating the internet-connected computer in an open family area of the house such as a den. 41% of families have installed filters or activated ISP-based controls on their computer to restrict access to some kinds of content.
Bodies with a particular interest in protection of kids online include
Australian community awareness body NetAlert
the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and NCH childrens' charity
the EU-based INHOPE organisation concerned with action against child pornography.
What to Do If You are Being Followed
contributed by : Sandy Esslinger
Courtesy of sister site American Woman Road & Travel
There are infinite possibilities to create a scenario for one of the more frightening experiences that probably will happen to all of us at one time or another--a car stalker! Statistics show that women are followed mostly by someone they met or know. Perhaps they met you at a bar, grocery store or restaurant. Perhaps they're an "ex." You look into your rearview mirror and realize that the car that was behind you while exiting the tennis court parking lot is still behind you, five miles later. Panic sets in. You grab your steering wheel with both hands and bury your foot into the throttle to get away. This is a natural reaction called the "fight or flight" instinct. Fighting doesn't seem to be an option when locked in your car, so flight kicks in full force.
However, this is the worst instinct you can have. Try to resist this impulse. The most important thing you can do is keep your wits about you, think and tell yourself to relax. Common sense almost always will get you out of situations like this. In this article we're going to point out some of the common-sense strategies that can keep you out of trouble.
Often, it's part of the pursuer's sick and twisted game--or maybe it's his goal--to get the best of you--scare you. According to the police, don't speed up and don't show that you're frightened because these people find intimidation fun. Check to make sure your doors are locked and windows are up. Remember, if you're locked in your car, there's little your pursuer can do.
If you're being followed, stay on the freeway as long as possible. Here you have no traffic signals and no potential of getting blocked-in. However, you may not find yourself on a freeway or may not be able to stay on the freeway because it's taking you into unfamiliar locations. If you end up on surface streets, stick to well-lighted main boulevards. Don't drive home--you don't want to show anyone where you live. Drive to the nearest police station. If you don't know where one is, go to a public place--lots of people and lights--because there's safety in numbers. Call the police from there. If you go into a bar, play the damsel in distress. (I guess that's exactly what this case is!) Many a macho man will jump to your defense. This seems to be one of those "natural" male reactions that in this case will be completely welcomed.
It's important to note that on surface streets, always observe some basic rules: 1) always lock your doors; 2) keep windows rolled up in locations of questionable security; 3) keep a good distance behind the car in front of you, including at stopped intersections, so you don't get trapped and still will be able to negotiate your car out of a pinch.
The police note that if you don't appear to be riled, the pursuer will will get bored and give up. Furthermore, the authorities strongly recommend that women carry mobile phones in their cars for security purposes. In fact, according to AirTouch Cellular, after registering the phone without a service carrier, 911 is still accessible. All you have to do is dial *611 (the local carrier), request 911 and you'll be patched directly through to the police.
Above all else, be sure that you relax, remain in control and use common sense. You'll increase your chances of getting rid of that stalker. As a final reminder, if a carjacking attempt is made, by all means, give up your car; you're life is certainly worth more.
Women Stalkers: Motives, Experiences with Victimization, and Patterns of Behavior
Stations: The following is a news announcement. Suggested lead in 3, 2, 1
Helping making psychology a household word, psychologists at this week's 113th American Psychological Association Convention being held in Washington, DC are examining a wide range of issues affecting our society. In fact, psychologists from across the country presented over 3,000 symposia, paper and poster sessions on issues from stopping brain cell loss to applying psychological research to improve mental health for children and adolescents.
Local researcher Dr. Keith Davis from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, describes his findings on "Women Stalkers: Motives, Experiences with Victimization, and Patterns of Behavior."
STALKING IS RECIPRICAL. IF THEY HAD BEEN STALKED, THEY WERE MORE LIKELY TO STALK. THESE WOMEN LIVED IN VERY VIOLENT RELATIONSHIPS. THE WOMEN HAD BEEN INJURED, SEXUALLY VICTIMIZED, PHYSICALLY ABUSED IN THESE RELATIONSHIPS, ALL TO A GREATER EXTENT THAN THEY DID ANY OF THESE THINGS TO THEIR PARTNERS. SO, THEY'RE MUTUALLY VIOLENT, BUT THEY'RE GETTING MUCH MORE OF THE VIOLENCE THAN THEY'RE DISHING OUT. WOMEN WHO FEEL SAFE, DON'T STALK.
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific professional organization representing psychology in the United States. More information on this year's studies can be found at www.apa.org.
Although no profile of a stalker exists because a wide variety of individuals stalk, studies have revealed a number of characteristics which are commonly found. On average, it appears that about three quarters of stalkers are men who stalk women. Some male stalkers stalk men, and women stalkers stalk men and women. Stalkers often appear to be older than other criminal offenders and older than many samples of offenders with mental illnesses: often in their thirties. They appear to be more intelligent and better educated than other groups of offenders with mental disorders, and most have had a sixth form education. This is consistent in some with resourcefulness and avoidance of detection. Despite this higher intelligence, many stalkers are under- or un-employed in the light of their educational achievement. Perhaps they have developed illnesses, or it could be just that stalking can be a very time consuming activity. Some of course remain in work. Stalkers tend to have prior offending histories, only some of which may be related to stalking behaviour. Many stalkers appear to lead lonely and isolated existences with few social supports. Many appear to have a history of failed relationships or have never experienced a long term relationship, and about a third are separated or divorced.
Stalking is likely to be related to psychological or psychiatric abnormalities. Every sample (collected by mental health professionals) contain a significant proportion with mental illnesses, a personality disorder or both. Mental illness is common, and all diagnoses are possible, mainly substance misuse, schizophrenia, delusional disorders such as jealousy, erotomania, persecutory delusions, or morbid infatuations, and mood disorders. Some stalking is related to psychosis (usually delusions and or hallucinations occurring with a loss of contact with reality), the content of which is usually about the activities and motives of the victim. Personality disorders are also commonly found.
Dont Underestimate Dangerousness Of Female Stalkers, Study Urges
Although men are more notorious for stalking than are women, women stalkers can be just as dangerous.
There are far fewer female stalkers than male onesonly 12 percent to 13 percent of all stalkers, by some counts. But how do female stalkers compare with their male counterparts? Are they just as predatory and dangerous?
The answer is yes, according to three authoritiesPaul Mullen, M.D., a professor of forensic psychiatry at Monash University in Clayton, Victoria, Australia, and Rosemary Purcell and Michele Pathe, also of Monash University (Psychiatric News, June 15, 2001). They reported their results in the December American Journal of Psychiatry.
Mullen and his coworkers decided to obtain subjects for their study from a community forensic mental health clinic that specializes in the assessment and management of both stalkers and the stalked. Referrals to the clinic come mostly through the courts, community correctional services, the police, and medical practitioners.
Mullen and his colleagues defined stalking for the purpose of their study as persistent (duration of at least four weeks) and repeated (10 or more) attempts to intrude on or communicate with a victim who perceived the behavior as unwelcome and fear provoking. This was an intentionally conservative definition.
Mullen and his team selected 190 stalkers from the clinic who met their definition150 males and 40 females. They then gathered demographic, psychiatric, and stalking-behavior information for the subjects and compared it on the basis of gender.
The male and female stalkers did not differ in terms of age, the researchers found; the mean age for both was 37 or 38 years. Nor did the two groups of stalkers differ in marital status, employment status, or diagnostic profilesmany in both groups had delusional disorders, personality disorders, morbid infatuations, and so forth. (Male and female stalkers also tended to use similar methods of harassment, except that female stalkers favored the phone, and male stalkers physical pursuit.)
Contrary to popular assumption, the female stalkers were no less likely than their male counterparts to threaten their victims or to attack their person or property. For instance, one female stalker damaged the sports car of her victim, her former fiancé. Another painted obscene messages on the fence of her victims home. Nine of the 40 female stalkers assaulted their victims, and the nature of the assaults did not differ much from that of the male stalkers, except that the women did not commit any sexual assaults.
"There is no reason to presume that the impact of being stalked by a female would be any less devastating than that of a man," Mullen and his coworkers wrote in their report.
In contrast, the investigators discovered, there were some differences between the male and female stalkersfor one, choice of victim. With only two exceptions, the female stalkers focused on those with whom they had professional contact, especially psychiatrists, psychologists, and family physicians, although teachers and legal professionals were occasional targets. Male stalkers, in contrast, pursued a broad range of victimsnot just professionals, but prior intimate partners, acquaintances, or strangers. Moreover, whereas female stalkers were just as likely to pursue women as men, male stalkers were more inclined to pursue women.
Finally, both the females and males engaged in stalking because they felt rebuffed, wanted to take revenge, or thought that stalking would help them get a date. But significantly more female stalkers wanted to establish an intimate, loving relationship with the person they pursued.
The study was financed by a postgraduate award to Purcell from the federal government of Australia.
The report, "A Study of Women Who Stalk," is posted on the Web at ajp.psychiatryonline.org under the December 2001 issue.
AM J PSYCHIATRY 2001 1582056[Abstract/Free Full Text]
A Study of Women Who Stalk
Rosemary Purcell, B.A., M.Psych., Michele Pathé, M.B.B.S., F.R.A.N.Z.C.P., and Paul E. Mullen, M.B.B.S., D.Sc., F.R.C.Psych.
OBJECTIVE: The authors examined whether female stalkers differ from their male counterparts in psychopathology, motivation, behavior, and propensity for violence. METHOD: Female (N=40) and male (N=150) stalkers referred to a forensic mental health clinic were compared. RESULTS: In this cohort, female stalkers were outnumbered by male stalkers by approximately four to one. The demographic characteristics of the groups did not differ, although more male stalkers reported a history of criminal offenses. Higher rates of substance abuse were also noted among the male stalkers, but the psychiatric status of the groups did not otherwise differ. The duration of stalking and the frequency of associated violence were equivalent between groups. The nature of the prior relationship with the victim differed, with female stalkers more likely to target professional contacts and less likely to harass strangers. Female stalkers were also more likely than male stalkers to pursue victims of the same gender. The majority of female stalkers were motivated by the desire to establish intimacy with their victim, whereas men showed a broader range of motivations. CONCLUSIONS: Female and male stalkers vary according to the motivation for their pursuit and their choice of victim. A female stalker typically seeks to attain a close intimacy with her victim, who usually is someone previously known and frequently is a person cast in the professional role of helper. While the contexts for stalking may differ by gender, the intrusiveness of the behaviors and potential for harm does not.
This article has been cited by other articles:
H. DRESSING, C. KUEHNER, and P. GASS
Lifetime prevalence and impact of stalking in a European population: Epidemiological data from a middle-sized German city
Br. J. Psychiatry, August 1, 2005; 187(2): 168 - 172.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]
L. Phillips, R. Quirk, B. Rosenfeld, and M. O'Connor
Is it Stalking?: Perceptions of Stalking among College Undergraduates
Criminal Justice and Behavior, February 1, 2004; 31(1): 73 - 96.
Violence Risk Factors in Stalking and Obsessional Harassment: A Review and Preliminary Meta-Analysis
Criminal Justice and Behavior, February 1, 2004; 31(1): 9 - 36.
L. P. Sheridan, E. Blaauw, and G. M. Davies
Stalking: Knowns and Unknowns
Trauma Violence Abuse, April 1, 2003; 4(2): 148 - 162.
Don't Underestimate Dangerousness Of Female Stalkers, Study Urges
Psychiatr News, February 1, 2002; 37(3): 22 - 22.
Women Who Stalk
Journal Watch Psychiatry, January 9, 2002; 2002(109): 5 - 5.
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Copyright © 2001 American Psychiatric Association
What to Do
If You Become a Stalking Victim
If you become a victim of a stalker you must, above all, educate yourself. There are several national organizations that provide information on stalking. These are listed on our resources page. Keep tuned in to our upcoming educational events page, as well, for continually updated information.
Security Precautions for Stalking Victims
Stalking victims dont like to be called victims. They will say, "I wont let myself be victimized," or "Im not going to change my life because Im being stalked." Sorry. Your life has changed. Forever. And unless you accept that, you will actually be helping the stalker. You are a crime victim. The crime happens to be stalking. You must understand that the phrase "stalking victim" says volumes about the perpetrator, but nothing about you. It does not tell us whether you stay at home in terror with sheets over the windows, or whether youve decided to move, or to become active to change the laws in your state. On the other hand, accepting that you are a stalking victim serves to remind you that you must, from now on, take extra precautions that others do not have to take.
Here are some basics to start with. These and other safety precautions can be found in I Know You Really Love Me:
Tell the stalker "no" once and only once, and then never give him the satisfaction of a reaction again. The more you respond, the more you teach him that his actions will elicit a response. This only serves to reinforce the stalking.
Get a dog. The Los Angeles Police Departments Threat Management Unit says this is "one of the least expensive but most effective alarm systems."
Block your address at DMV and Voter Registration. If you dont, anyone can get it for the asking. This is how Robert Bardo found actress Rebecca Schaeffer and was able to murder her at her front door.
Never give out your home address or telephone number. Get a post office box and use it on all correspondence. For those places that will not accept a post office box, change "PO Box" to "Apt." and leave the number. Put this address on your checks.
When the stalker gets your home telephone number, dont change it. Instead, always let an answering machine pick-up. Get a new, unlisted number, and give it to everyone who calls but the stalker. Gradually, only your stalker will be using your old number it will become his private line. If it upsets you when he calls, put the machine in a room you dont use. You can even have someone else monitor the tapes. This way, the stalker will think he is still getting through to you, although you will never make the mistake of picking up when he calls. Whenever you close off one avenue for a stalker, he will find another and it could easily be worse.
Document everything. Even if you have decided not to go the legal route, you may change your mind. Keep answering machine tapes, letters, gifts, etc. Keep a log of drive-bys or any suspicious occurrences.
Take a self-defense class. A lot of security experts dont advise this, fearing that it gives victims a false sense of security, but we do. The best self-defense classes teach you how to become more aware of your surroundings and avoid confrontations, things that stalking victims would do well to learn.
Have co-workers screen all calls and visitors.
Dont accept packages unless they were personally ordered.
Remove any name or identification from reserved parking at work.
Destroy discarded mail.
Equip your gas tank with a locking gas cap that can be unlocked only from inside the car.
Get a cell phone and keep it with you at all times, even inside your home, in case the stalker cuts your phone lines.
If you think you are being followed while in your car, make four left- or right-hand turns in succession. If the car continues to follow you, drive to the nearest police station, never home or to a friends house.
Never be afraid to sound your car horn to attract attention.
Acquaint yourself with all-night stores and other public, highly populated places in your area.
Consider moving if your case warrants it. No, its not fair, but nothing is fair about stalking. If you stay and fight through the legal system, you might get some justice, (although not necessarily your definition of it), but you almost certainly wont get safety: There is no possibility of life imprisonment for stalkers. Research how to keep your destination secret. Stalking and victims organizations can help.
Dont be embarrassed and think you caused this somehow. Stalkers need no encouragement. Your shame is your stalkers best weapon. It makes you more likely to engage him or agree to plea bargains, which are bound to be taken as sympathy and we know where that leads. Instead, tell everyone you know that youre being stalked, from neighbors to co-workers, so that when the stalker approaches them for information about you, they will be alerted not to divulge anything and will let you know hes been around. One young widow moved to escape her stalker, a stranger she had never really met. Yet, after finding out where she moved, he was also able to pinpoint her exact location by showing her helpful neighbors pictures he had surreptitiously taken of her and her children, telling them that he was her estranged husband and she had kidnapped the kids.
Join one of the stalking victims support groups that are springing up all over the country. They can be invaluable resources for information in your community (such as how local law enforcement handle these cases) as well as provide essential support. See the resources section for organizations that can help. If there is no group in your area, start one. It only takes two. Tragically, we can guarantee you are not the only person being stalked in your area.
Many stalking victims are routinely told to get restraining orders. When they do, they often assume that the stalking will finally end, either because the stalker will stop on his own, or because the police will stop him. Neither of these outcomes happens with any frequency.
About a quarter of stalking victims obtain restraining orders; in two-thirds of these cases, the restraining order is violated. About half of all stalking cases are reported to the police; a quarter of these result in an arrest.
Remember that a restraining order is just a piece of paper. It cannot protect you. In fact, the restraining order is just a tool police use to show intent by the perpetrator. Obviously, the police will not be there when the perpetrator violates. Only after.
In many, many instances, restraining orders only make a bad situation worse. From the stalkers point of view, restraining orders are humiliating; the victim has just announced to the world that she wants nothing to do with him: She has stepped-up the rejection. Because of this, many perpetrators feel they must step-up the pursuit. Or they just get mad and plan to get even. There have been far too many cases of stalking victims found murdered after they had obtained restraining orders; one victims estranged husband knifed the order to her chest.
There are two types of stalkers that are most unlikely to respond to restraining orders: those former intimate-partner stalkers who are very invested in the relationship and delusional stalkers.
Former intimate partner stalkers are less likely to adhere to a restraining order the more they have invested in the victim. For example, a man who was married to a woman for ten years and had three children with her, follows her around until she gets a restraining order. The same man, a year later, dates another woman a few times until she becomes concerned about how controlling he is and breaks it off. In which scenario will the same man be more likely to let go: In the former instance, in which he has ten years and three kids invested, or the latter in which he has only invested a few dates?
Delusional stalkers, by definition, cannot be reasoned with. They just dont get it and never will. A judge saying the same thing the victim did, "stay away," makes no difference. These types of stalkers have even been known to call their victims - collect from jail. Since in most cases the victim hardly knows the stalker, if at all, it might seem that these stalkers have nothing invested in the relationship. Remember, however, that in their minds, they have created an entire relationship with the power to completely transform their lonely lives. A piece of paper carrying some paltry penalty for a violation is hardly going to be a deterrent. A victim may assume that her stalker will respond to a restraining order the way she herself would. Such an assumption is, at best, terribly foolish; at worst, deadly.
An erotomanic woman stalked a department store manager who had the misfortune of smiling in her direction. She was so relentless in her pursuit that he was eventually forced to leave the country. Here is what she wrote to the man she had never, in reality, met: "My dearest beloved I cannot live without you. You are God of God and I depend upon your kindly help to save me from this hospital. Your high learning and important status are your two most admirable qualities. Your wise breeding will make a perfect lady out of me and in you is all I need to find security in my life." How can 30 days, 6 months, even a year in jail put a dent in these sentiments and their resulting pursuit?
Does this mean that a stalking victim should not obtain a restraining order? No. It does mean, however, that a stalking victim should not obtain one routinely. Before a victim obtains a restraining order, she must research how these orders are enforced in her jurisdiction in similar cases. Seek out other stalking victims, through support groups, domestic violence programs, etc. and ask them. Find out if a restraining order violation is a misdemeanor (as it is in most jurisdictions) or a felony. If it is a misdemeanor, it is much less likely to be enforced. When is the last time you heard of someone being arrested for spitting, littering or loitering? The police will almost always tell you they will arrest. Find out if this means taking the stalker to jail or just giving him a citation.
When a restraining order violation occurs and the police just go out and talk to the stalker or even give him a citation, they have just made the situation worse. The victim would have been far better off never obtaining such an order. What the police have done in this instance is given the stalker further proof that nothing will happen to him, that he can act with impunity. After all, what more can the victim do to him than call in the full weight of the legal system; first a judge to issue the order and a police officer to enforce it?
There are cases in which stalking lasts for years and years and never turns violent. Then, there are those cases that turn deadly quickly. How can you tell which cases will lead to murder?
First of all, the cases that seem harmless, may, in fact, be the most deadly. An Australian singer was stalked by an erotomanic man who went to all her performances and even followed her to social events. When her friends expressed their concerns to the young woman, she told them he was simply sad and harmless. There was no warning before he finally did approach her in the street, fatally stabbing her. Weeks before, he had confided to his mother that he was going to marry the singer. What changed his plans from marriage to murder? A newspaper article reporting her engagement to a prominent local businessman. He felt humiliated at her "betrayal" and decided to "get even."
Most stalking victims erroneously believe that if they have not been threatened, they are not in any danger. Heres a question, then: If he really wanted to harm you, why would he warn you ahead of time? Conversely, think about the many, many times in your own life that you threatened someone and then didnt follow through on the threat. Never happened? What about that jerk who cut you off on the highway last week? Didnt you threaten to well, never mind. The point is, study after study indicates that whether or not a stalker makes a threat has no bearing on whether or not he poses a threat. Of course, any threat should be taken seriously. But there are other indicators that cannot be ignored when assessing a stalkers potential for violence.
Additionally, it is a false belief that if a perpetrator has no history of violence, the likelihood of his becoming violent in the future is small. John Hinckley, Jr., Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, Sarah Jane Moore, Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan and John Wilkes Booth, never perpetrated an act of criminal violence on another person before the attacks that made them famous. That is also true of the most recent celebrity stalker-murderers, Robert Bardo, who killed Rebecca Schaefer, and Mark David Chapman, who killed John Lennon. While a past history of violence, therefore, is an important factor in increasing the risk of future violence, the absence of such a history is completely meaningless. After all, a history of violence is notably lacking before the first time anyone perpetrates a violent act.
Factors which studies show seem to increase stalker propensity for violence are: stalking more than one victim, a past criminal history unrelated to stalking, substance abuse, access to and knowledge of weapons, high degree of obsession with the victim, great length of time stalking the victim, travelling a distance to be near the victim. Male sex is usually added to this list because, in general, men are more violent than women. However, a recent study found that, at least for former intimate partner stalkers, women stalkers were just as likely to become violent as their male counterparts.
It is also important to understand that it is not only the victim who is in danger, but those surrounding the victim, particularly if the stalker perceives them to be in his way. Madonnas stalker tried to kill her body guard because he was seen as an obstacle to the star. Peggy Lennons stalker (from the singing Lennon Sisters on the Lawrence Welk Show) hunted her father down and shot him to death, believing he was an obstacle to being with Peggy, whom he called, "my true wife."
Reseaerch Studies: http://www.antistalking.com/research.htm
About Stalkers and Stalking
A recent study by the National Institute of Justice found that stalking was far more prevalent than anyone had imagined: 8% of American women and 2% of American men will be stalked in their lifetimes. Thats 1.4 million American stalking victims every year. The majority of stalkers have been in relationships with their victims, but a significant percentage either never met their victims, or were just acquaintances - neighbors, friends or co-workers. [For information on how to receive a free copy of this study, see our research studies page.]
Types of Stalkers
There is tremendous confusion in the stalking research literature about how to classify stalkers. Everyone uses different terms. For the purposes of this web site, we have broken down types of stalkers into three broad categories: Intimate partner stalkers, delusional stalkers and vengeful stalkers. Obviously, there is overlap. Since studies show that the overwhelming number of stalkers are men and the overwhelming number of their victims are women, we will be referring to stalkers and their victims accordingly. I Know You Really Love Me delves into much greater detail and provides extensive case histories about each of these types of stalkers.
Intimate partner stalkers are typically known as the guy who "just cant let go." These are most often men who refuse to believe that a relationship has really ended. Often, other people - even the victims - feel sorry for them. But they shouldnt. Studies show that the vast majority of these stalkers are not sympathetic, lonely people who are still hopelessly in love, but were in fact emotionally abusive and controlling during the relationship. Many have criminal histories unrelated to stalking. Well over half of stalkers fall into this "former intimate partner" category.
In these types of stalking cases, the victim may, in fact, unwittingly encourage the stalker by trying to "let him down easy," or agreeing to talk to him "just one more time." What victims need to understand is that there is no reasoning with stalkers. Just the fact that stalking - an unreasonable activity - has already begun, illustrates this fact. When the victim says, "I dont want a relationship now," the stalker hears, "Shell want me again, tomorrow." When she says, "I just need some space," he hears, "If I just let her go out with her friends, shell come back." "Its just not working out," is heard as "we can make it work out." In other words, the only thing to say to the stalker is "no." No explanations, no time limits, no room to maneuver.
A victim should say "no" once and only once. And then, never say anything to him again. If a stalker cant have his victims love, hell take her hatred or her fear. The worst thing in the world for him is to be ignored. Think of little children: If theyre not getting the attention they want, theyll act out and misbehave because even negative attention is better than none at all. Former intimate partner stalkers have their entire sense of self-worth caught up in the fact that, "she loves me." Therefore, any evidence to the contrary is seen as merely an inconvenience to overcome. Since giving up his victim means giving up his self-worth, he is very unlikely to do so. Dont help him hang on.
Delusional stalkers frequently have had little, if any, contact with their victims. They may have major mental illnesses like schizophrenia, manic-depression or erotomania. What they all have in common is some false belief that keeps them tied to their victims. In erotomania, the stalkers delusional belief is that the victim loves him. This type of stalker actually believes that he is having a relationship with his victim, even though they might never have met. The woman stalking David Letterman, the stalker who killed actress Rebecca Schaeffer and the man who stalked Madonna are all examples of erotomanic stalkers.
Another type of delusional stalker might believe that he is destined to be with someone, and that if he only pursues her hard enough and long enough, she will come to love him as he loves her. These stalkers know they are not having a relationship with their victims, but firmly believe that they will some day. John Hinckley Jr.s obsession with Jodi Foster is an example of this type of stalker.
The typical profile of delusional stalkers is that of an unmarried and socially immature loner, who is unable to establish or sustain close relationships with others. They rarely date and have had few, if any, sexual relationships. Since at the same time they are both threatened by and yearn for closeness, they often pick victims who are unattainable in some way; perhaps she is married, or has been the stalkers therapist, clergyman, doctor or teacher. Those in the helping professions are particularly vulnerable to delusional stalkers, because for someone who already has difficulty separating reality from fantasy, the kindness shown by the soon-to-be victim, the only person who has ever treated the stalker with warmth, is blown out of proportion into a delusion of intimacy. What these stalkers cannot attain in reality is achieved through fantasy and it is for this reason that the delusion seems to be so difficult to relinquish: Even an imaginary love is better than no love at all.
These delusional stalkers have almost always come from a background which was either emotionally barren or severely abusive. They grow up having a very poor sense of their own identities. This, coupled with a predisposition toward psychosis, leads them to strive for satisfaction through another, yearning to merge with someone who is almost always perceived to be of a higher status (doctors, lawyers, teachers) or very socially desirable (celebrities). It is as if this stalker says, "Gee. If she loves me, I must not be so bad." As Dean Martin compellingly crooned what could be considered the delusional stalkers anthem: "Youre Nobody Til Somebody Loves You." It is not unusual for this type of stalker to "hear" the soothing voice of his victim, or believe that she is sending him cryptic messages through others.
Some studies show that delusional stalkers are the most tenacious of all. Erotomanic delusions themselves last an average of ten years. How is this possible when the stalker has had little if any contact with his victim? As if drawn from the National Organ Donor Registry, the victim becomes the perfect match, with the potential to save the stalkers life. When the victim says "no," he rationalizes it away, believing that, "her husband made her get that restraining order, she really loves me," or "her agent told her it would be bad for her career if we dated, but she really loves me." Therefore, as with every type of stalker, it is imperative that victims have no contact.
The final category of stalker is not lovelorn. He is the vengeful stalker. These stalkers become angry with their victims over some slight, real or imagined. Politicians, for example, get many of these types of stalkers who become angry over some piece of legislation or program the official sponsors. But, disgruntled ex-employees can also stalk, whether targeting their former bosses, co-workers or the entire company. Some of these angry stalkers are psychopaths, i.e. people without conscience or remorse. Some are delusional, (most often paranoid), and believe that they, in fact, are the victims. They all stalk to "get even."
Former intimate partner stalkers and delusional stalkers can become vengeful for a variety of reasons. For example, when their victims get restraining orders, or marry. Why a stalkers anger is a very bad sign is described under what to do.
In general, for any type of stalker, the less of a relationship that actually existed prior to the stalking, the more mentally disturbed the stalker.
Domestic Violence and Abuse: Types, Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects
On this page: Definition of domestic violence or abuse | Types of domestic abuse | Physical abuse | Emotional or verbal abuse | Sexual abuse | Stalking | Cyberstalking | Will stalking turn violent? | Economic or financial abuse | Spiritual abuse | Signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship | Warning signs in the workplace | Causes of domestic violence or abuse | Societal perpetuation of domestic violence and abuse | Who abuses a spouse or intimate partner? | Results of domestic abuse | Effect of domestic violence on children | Online resources | Related articles
Did you know?
If you need help immediately, call 911.
If you want to talk to someone, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at: 1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE)
In all cultures, men are most often the abusers, and women the victims of domestic violence. Women are five to eight times as likely as men to be victims of domestic violence by intimate partners.
Nearly 1/3 of women report that they have been physically or sexually abused by their husbands or boyfriends.
Each year, between one and four million men and women in the U.S. are abused by current or former spouses, live-in partners, boyfriends, or girlfriends.
Women are also violent. But women get injured by domestic violence more often than do men because men often resort to beating up or using a gun. Men also repeat violent acts more often than do women.
Three-fourths of the victims of murder by intimate partners are women.
All too frequently the media bombards us with news about a high-profile domestic violence case, where a man or woman is suspected of murdering their wife or husband, with or without a previous history of domestic abuse. Violence. How can a person turn from loving and living with a person to beating them up or murdering them? What kind of a person resorts to domestic violence against their spouse or domestic intimate partner? What kind of person thinks it is okay to continually humiliate or talk down to their life intimate partner? What kind of a person has sex with their partner without the persons consent and desire to participate?
A common pattern of domestic abuse is that the perpetrator alternates between violent, abusive behavior and apologetic behavior with apparently heartfelt promises to change. The abuser may be very pleasant most of the time. Therein lies the perpetual appeal of the abusing partner and why many people are unable to leave the abusive relationship.
Domestic abuse is most often one of the following:
abuse of a spouse or domestic intimate partner
In this article, we discuss domestic abuse between spouses and intimate partners: the types of domestic abuse, signs and symptoms, causes, and effects. Domestic violence and abuse are common. The first step in ending the misery is recognition that the situation is abusive. Then you can seek help. See the related Helpguide article: Domestic Violence and Abuse: Help, Treatment, Intervention, and Prevention.
What is the definition of domestic abuse between intimate partners?
Domestic abuse between spouses or intimate partners is when one person in a marital or intimate relationship tries to control the other person. The perpetrator uses fear and intimidation and may threaten to use or may actually use physical violence. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.
The victim of domestic abuse or domestic violence may be a man or a woman. Domestic abuse occurs in traditional heterosexual marriages, as well as in same-sex partnerships. The abuse may occur during a relationship, while the couple is breaking up, or after the relationship has ended.
Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence. Domestic violence may even end up in murder.
The key elements of domestic abuse are:
humiliating the other person
Domestic abuse is not a result of losing control; domestic abuse is intentionally trying to control another person. The abuser is purposefully using verbal, nonverbal, or physical means to gain control over the other person.
In some cultures, control of women by men is accepted as the norm. This article speaks from the orientation that control of intimate partners is domestic abuse within a culture where such control is not the norm. Today we see many cultures moving from the subordination of women to increased equality of women within relationships.
What are the types of domestic abuse?
The types of domestic abuse are:
physical abuse (domestic violence)
verbal or nonverbal abuse (psychological abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse)
stalking or cyberstalking
economic abuse or financial abuse
The divisions between these types of domestic abuse are somewhat fluid, but there is a strong differentiation between the various forms of physical abuse and the various types of verbal or nonverbal abuse.
What is physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?
Physical abuse is the use of physical force against another person in a way that ends up injuring the person, or puts the person at risk of being injured. Physical abuse ranges from physical restraint to murder. When someone talks of domestic violence, they are often referring to physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner.
Physical assault or physical battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside a family or outside the family. The police are empowered to protect you from physical attack.
Physical abuse includes:
pushing, throwing, kicking
slapping, grabbing, hitting, punching, beating, tripping, battering, bruising, choking, shaking
holding, restraining, confinement
assault with a weapon such as a knife or gun
What is emotional abuse or verbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?
Mental, psychological, or emotional abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner consists of more subtle actions or behaviors than physical abuse. While physical abuse might seem worse, the scars of verbal and emotional abuse are deep. Studies show that verbal or nonverbal abuse can be much more emotionally damaging than physical abuse.
Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner may include:
threatening or intimidating to gain compliance
destruction of the victims personal property and possessions, or threats to do so
violence to an object (such as a wall or piece of furniture) or pet, in the presence of the intended victim, as a way of instilling fear of further violence
yelling or screaming
embarrassing, making fun of, or mocking the victim, either alone within the household, in public, or in front of family or friends
criticizing or diminishing the victims accomplishments or goals
not trusting the victims decision-making
telling the victim that they are worthless on their own, without the abuser
excessive possessiveness, isolation from friends and family
excessive checking-up on the victim to make sure they are at home or where they said they would be
saying hurtful things while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and using the substance as an excuse to say the hurtful things
blaming the victim for how the abuser acts or feels
making the victim remain on the premises after a fight, or leaving them somewhere else after a fight, just to teach them a lesson
making the victim feel that there is no way out of the relationship
What is sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a spouse or intimate partner?
Sexual abuse includes:
sexual assault: forcing someone to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity
sexual harassment: ridiculing another person to try to limit their sexuality or reproductive choices
sexual exploitation (such as forcing someone to look at pornography, or forcing someone to participate in pornographic film-making)
Sexual abuse often is linked to physical abuse; they may occur together, or the sexual abuse may occur after a bout of physical abuse.
What is stalking?
Stalking is harassment of or threatening another person, especially in a way that haunts the person physically or emotionally in a repetitive and devious manner. Stalking of an intimate partner can take place during the relationship, with intense monitoring of the partners activities. Or stalking can take place after a partner or spouse has left the relationship. The stalker may be trying to get their partner back, or they may wish to harm their partner as punishment for their departure. Regardless of the fine details, the victim fears for their safety.
Stalking can take place at or near the victims home, near or in their workplace, on the way to the store or another destination, or on the Internet (cyberstalking). Stalking can be on the phone, in person, or online. Stalkers may never show their face, or they may be everywhere, in person.
Stalkers employ a number of threatening tactics:
repeated phone calls, sometimes with hang-ups
following, tracking (possibly even with a global positioning device)
finding the person through public records, online searching, or paid investigators
watching with hidden cameras
suddenly showing up where the victim is, at home, school, or work
sending emails; communicating in chat rooms or with instant messaging (cyberstalking: see below)
sending unwanted packages, cards, gifts, or letters
monitoring the victims phone calls or computer-use
contacting the victims friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors to find out about the victim
going through the victims garbage
threatening to hurt the victim or their family, friends, or pets
damaging the victims home, car, or other property
Stalking is unpredictable and should always be considered dangerous. If someone is
contacting you when you do not wish to have contact,
attempting to control you, or
then seek help immediately.
What is cyberstalking?
Cyberstalking is the use of telecommunication technologies such as the Internet or email to stalk another person. Cyberstalking may be an additional form of stalking, or it may be the only method the abuser employs. Cyberstalking is deliberate, persistent, and personal.
Spamming with unsolicited email is different from cyberstalking. Spam does not focus on the individual, as does cyberstalking. The cyberstalker methodically finds and contacts the victim. Much like spam of a sexual nature, a cyberstalkers message may be disturbing and inappropriate. Also like spam, you cannot stop the contact with a request. In fact, the more you protest or respond, the more rewarded the cyberstalker feels. The best response to cyberstalking is not to respond to the contact.
Cyberstalking falls in a grey area of law enforcement. Enforcement of most state and federal stalking laws requires that the victim be directly threatened with an act of violence. Very few law enforcement agencies can act if the threat is only implied.
Regardless of whether you can get stalking laws enforced against cyberstalking, you must treat cyberstalking seriously and protect yourself. Cyberstalking sometimes advances to real stalking and to physical violence.
How likely is it that stalking will turn into violence?
Stalking can end in violence whether or not the stalker threatens violence. And stalking can turn into violence even if the stalker has no history of violence.
Women stalkers are just as likely to become violent as are male stalkers.
Those around the stalking victim are also in danger of being hurt. For instance, a parent, spouse, or bodyguard who makes the stalking victim unattainable may be hurt or killed as the stalker pursues the stalking victim.
What is economic or financial abuse of a spouse or domestic partner?
Economic or financial abuse includes:
withholding economic resources such as money or credit cards
stealing from or defrauding a partner of money or assets
exploiting the intimate partners resources for personal gain
withholding physical resources such as food, clothes, necessary medications, or shelter from a partner
preventing the spouse or intimate partner from working or choosing an occupation
What is spiritual abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?
Spiritual abuse includes:
using the spouses or intimate partners religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate them
preventing the partner from practicing their religious or spiritual beliefs
ridiculing the other persons religious or spiritual beliefs
forcing the children to be reared in a faith that the partner has not agreed to
How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship? What are the signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship?
The more of the following questions that you answer Yes to, the more likely you are in an abusive relationship. Examine your answers and seek help if you find that you respond positively to a large number of the questions.
Your inner feelings and dialogue: Fear, self-loathing, numbness, desperation
Are you fearful of your partner a large percentage of the time?
Do you avoid certain topics or spend a lot of time figuring out how to talk about certain topics so that you do not arouse your partners negative reaction or anger?
Do you ever feel that you cant do anything right for your partner?
Do you ever feel so badly about yourself that you think you deserve to be physically hurt?
Have you lost the love and respect that you once had for your partner?
Do you sometimes wonder if you are the one who is crazy, that maybe you are overreacting to your partners behaviors?
Do you sometimes fantasize about ways to kill your partner to get them out of your life?
Are you afraid that your partner may try to kill you?
Are you afraid that your partner will try to take your children away from you?
Do you feel that there is nowhere to turn for help?
Are you feeling emotionally numb?
Were you abused as a child, or did you grow up with domestic violence in the household? Does domestic violence seem normal to you?
Your partners lack of control over their own behavior
Does your partner have low self-esteem? Do they appear to feel powerless, ineffective, or inadequate in the world, although they are outwardly successful?
Does your partner externalize the causes of their own behavior? Do they blame their violence on stress, alcohol, or a bad day?
Is your partner unpredictable?
Is your partner a pleasant person between bouts of violence?
Your partners violent or threatening behavior
Does your partner have a bad temper?
Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you or kill you?
Has your partner ever physically hurt you?
Has your partner threatened to take your children away from you, especially if you try to leave the relationship?
Has your partner ever threatened to commit suicide, especially as a way of keeping you from leaving?
Has your partner ever forced you to have sex when you didnt want to?
Has your partner threatened you at work, either in person or on the phone?
Is your partner cruel to animals?
Does your partner destroy your belongings or household objects?
Your partners controlling behavior
Does your partner try to keep you from seeing your friends or family?
Are you embarrassed to invite friends or family over to your house because of your partners behavior?
Has your partner limited your access to money, the telephone, or the car?
Does your partner try to stop you from going where you want to go outside of the house, or from doing what you want to do?
Is your partner jealous and possessive, asking where you are going and where you have been, as if checking up on you? Do they accuse you of having an affair?
Your partners diminishment of you
Does your partner verbally abuse you?
Does your partner humiliate or criticize you in front of others?
Does your partner often ignore you or put down your opinions or contributions?
Does your partner always insist that they are right, even when they are clearly wrong?
Does your partner blame you for their own violent behavior, saying that your behavior or attitudes cause them to be violent?
Is your partner often outwardly angry with you?
Does your partner objectify and disrespect women? Does your partner see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
In my workplace, what are the warning signs that a person is a victim of domestic violence?
Domestic violence often plays out in the workplace. For instance, a husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend might make threatening phone calls to their intimate partner or ex-partner. Or the worker may show injuries from physical abuse at home.
If you witness a cluster of the following warning signs in the workplace, you can reasonably suspect domestic abuse:
Bruises and other signs of impact on the skin, with the excuse of accidents
Frequent and sudden absences
Frequent, harassing phone calls to the person while they are at work
Fear of the partner, references to the partners anger
Decreased productivity and attentiveness
Isolation from friends and family
Insufficient resources to live (money, credit cards, car)
If you do recognize signs of domestic abuse in a co-worker, talk to your Human Resources department. The Human Resources staff should be able to help the victim without your further involvement.
What are the causes of domestic abuse or domestic violence?
A strong predictor of domestic violence in adulthood is domestic violence in the household in which the person was reared. For instance, a childs exposure to their fathers abuse of their mother is the strongest risk factor for transmitting domestic violence from one generation to the next. This cycle of domestic violence is difficult to break because parents have presented violence as the norm.
Individuals living with domestic violence in their households have learned that violence and mistreatment are the way to vent anger. Someone resorts to physical violence because
they have solved their problems in the past with violence,
they have effectively exerted control and power over others through violence, and
no one has stopped them from being violent in the past.
Some immediate causes that can set off a bout of domestic abuse are:
provocation by the intimate partner
economic hardship, such as prolonged unemployment
How does society perpetuate domestic abuse?
Society contributes to domestic violence by not taking it seriously enough and by treating it as expected, normal, or deserved. Specifically, society perpetuates domestic abuse in the following ways.
Police may not treat domestic abuse as a crime, but, rather, as a domestic dispute
Courts may not award severe consequences, such as imprisonment or economic sanctions
A community usually doesnt ostracize domestic abusers
Clergy or counselors may have the attitude that the relationship needs to be improved and that the relationship can work, given more time and effort
People may have the attitude that the abuse is the fault of the victim, or that the abuse is a normal part of marriage or domestic partnerships
Gender-role socialization and stereotypes condone abusive behavior by men
Community solutions may be inadequate, such that victims cannot get the help they need. For example, seeking refuge in a shelter may require a woman to leave her neighborhood, social support system, job, school, and childcare. In addition, teenagers are often not welcome at shelters, particularly teenage males. Teenage girls with children may have difficulty finding shelter because of their own age. And male victims of domestic violence have trouble finding shelters that will take them.
Domestic abuse is more common in low-income populations. Low-income victims may lack mobility and the financial resources to leave an abusive situation.
Who abuses their spouse or intimate partner?
Ninety-two percent of physical abusers are men. However, women can also be the perpetrators of domestic violence.
About seventy-five percent of stalkers are men stalking women. But stalkers can also be women stalking men, men stalking men, or women stalking women.
Domestic abuse knows no age or ethnic boundaries.
Domestic abuse can occur during a relationship or after a relationship has ended.
What are the results of domestic violence or abuse?
The results of domestic violence or abuse can be very long-lasting. People who are abused by a spouse or intimate partner may develop:
lack of trust in others
feelings of abandonment
sensitivity to rejection
diminished mental and physical health
inability to work
poor relationships with their children and other loved ones
substance abuse as a way of coping
Physical abuse may result in death, if the victim does not leave the relationship.
What is the effect of domestic violence on children?
Children who witness domestic violence may develop serious emotional, behavioral, developmental, or academic problems. As children, they may become violent themselves, or withdraw. Some act out at home or school; others try to be the perfect child. Children from violent homes may become depressed and have low self-esteem.
As they develop, children and teens who grow up with domestic violence in the household are
more likely to use violence at school or in the community in response to perceived threats
more likely to attempt suicide
more likely to use drugs
more likely to commit crimes, especially sexual assault
more likely to use violence to enhance their reputation and self-esteem
more likely to become abusers in their own relationships later in life
Online resources about types, signs, causes, and effects of domestic abuse and domestic violence
Important phone hotlines
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) - A crisis intervention and referral phone line for domestic violence. The service also has an email address and access for the deaf. Hotline staff members can speak in English or Spanish and have access to translators for many other languages. (Texas Council on Family Violence)
State Coalition List - Lists the phone numbers for the state offices of the NCADV. These offices can help you find local support or a shelter from domestic violence, as well as free or low-cost legal services. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
Warning signs of domestic abuse
The Problem - Offers a Checklist of behaviors and feelings that will help you to assess whether you are in an abusive relationship. The NCADV also lists Predictors of Domestic Violence to help you to decide whether your partner may become violent toward you. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
Leaving Abuse - This personal and comprehensive site offers easy-to-read information and advice on everything concerning domestic abuse. (Heather Jayne)
Womens Law Initiative - An extremely useful site with a lot of information hidden away under various menu items. The home pages left menu covers topics applicable to someone from any state: teen date violence; domestic abuse among immigrants; gaining Internet security against domestic violence; planning safety for yourself if you are being abused; child custody and kidnapping information; domestic violence on native American tribal lands; and getting help for domestic violence within the military system. At the top of the left menu is a dropdown menu that lets you choose a state. Once you get to a states home page, the left menu provides options for information within that state. This information includes courthouse and sheriffs office contacts; court forms; legal terms and statutes; getting a restraining order or protective order; and some state-specific information. The page is available in Spanish at Bienvenido (Iniciativa de Derecho de la Mujer). (Women's Law Initiative)
Especially for men
Intimate Partner Abuse Against Men - A site with articles about domestic violence against men. Some articles are for victims, and some for those who can help the victims. Includes articles on gay partner abuse, sexual abuse of boys and male teenagers, and abuse of men by wives or partners. (National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, Canada)
Especially for gay men and lesbian women
Abuse in Same-Sex Relationships - Describes myths about same-sex abuse; unique problems of the victims of same-sex abuse; and what society and professionals can do to help. (Bernie Finnigan and Donna MacAulay, Violence in Same-Sex Relationship Information Project, reprinted on the Education Wife Assault website, Canada)
Especially for immigrant women
Information for Immigrants - A set of domestic violence resources for immigrant women, who are often noncitizens. The information is translated into Spanish with the link Información para Inmigrantes. (Womens Law Initiative)
Recognizing domestic violence in the workplace
Preventing Workplace Violence: Possible Warning Signs of a Troubled Employee - Describes behavioral and physical signs of a potentially violent employee. Click on each of the two buttons to get to the warning signs. (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety; Triune Productions, Inc.; Random Access Multimedia, Inc.; and the National Crime Prevention Centre, Canada)
Warning Signs of Domestic Violence - Discusses signs of a domestic violence victim in the workplace. (Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA))
Teen dating violence
Teens: Love Doesnt Have To Hurt - A teen-friendly site that talks about what abuse looks like and how to do something about it. (American Psychological Association)
See It And Stop It! - Focused on preventing intimate partner abuse among teens, this site is attractive to teens and quick to inform, and inspires taking action to stop teen dating violence. (Teen Action Campaign)
Information for Teens - Describes teen dating violence and answers questions about what to do about teen dating violence. The information is available in Spanish at Información para Jóvenes. (Womens Law Initiative)
Love Is Not Abuse - Articles about how to recognize controlling and violent teen relationships and how to stop the abuse. Especially helpful is the information for parents and for teen boys about how to stop the cycle of violence. (Liz Claiborne, Inc.)
Related articles on Helpguide
Domestic Violence and Abuse: Help, Treatment, Intervention, and Prevention
Child Abuse: Types, Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Help
Elder Abuse: Types, Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Help
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Symptoms, Types, and Treatment
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Signs, Effects, and Treatment
Drug and Substance Abuse: Signs, Effects, and Treatment of Addiction
Stress: Signs and Symptoms, Causes and Effects
Coping with Stress: Management and Reduction Techniques
Stress Relief: Meditation, Yoga, and Other Relaxation Techniques
Emotional and Psychological Trauma: Causes, Symptoms, Effects, and Treatment
Tina de Benedictis, Ph.D., Jaelline Jaffe, Ph.D., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., contributed to this article.
Public Act 93-0591
HB3486 Enrolled LRB093 06684 WGH 12062 b
AN ACT in relation to employment.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act.
Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds and
declares the following:
(1) Domestic and sexual violence affects many
persons without regard to age, race, educational level,
socioeconomic status, religion, or occupation.
(2) Domestic and sexual violence has a devastating
effect on individuals, families, communities and the
(3) Domestic violence crimes account for
approximately 15% of total crime costs in the United
States each year.
(4) Violence against women has been reported to be
the leading cause of physical injury to women. Such
violence has a devastating impact on women's physical and
emotional health and financial security.
(5) According to recent government surveys, from
1993 through 1998 the average annual number of violent
victimizations committed by intimate partners was
1,082,110, 87% of which were committed against women.
(6) Female murder victims were substantially more
likely than male murder victims to have been killed by an
intimate partner. About one-third of female murder
victims, and about 4% of male murder victims, were killed
by an intimate partner.
(7) According to recent government estimates,
approximately 987,400 rapes occur annually in the United
States, 89% of the rapes are perpetrated against female
(8) Approximately 10,200,000 people have been
stalked at some time in their lives. Four out of every 5
stalking victims are women. Stalkers harass and terrorize
their victims by spying on the victims, standing outside
their places of work or homes, making unwanted phone
calls, sending or leaving unwanted letters or items, or
(9) Employees in the United States who have been
victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual
assault, or stalking too often suffer adverse
consequences in the workplace as a result of their
(10) Victims of domestic violence, dating violence,
sexual assault, and stalking face the threat of job loss
and loss of health insurance as a result of the illegal
acts of the perpetrators of violence.
(11) The prevalence of domestic violence, dating
violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other violence
against women at work is dramatic. Approximately 11% of
all rapes occur in the workplace. About 50,500
individuals, 83% of whom are women, were raped or
sexually assaulted in the workplace each year from 1992
through 1996. Half of all female victims of violent
workplace crimes know their attackers. Nearly one out of
10 violent workplace incidents is committed by partners
(12) Homicide is the leading cause of death for
women on the job. Husbands, boyfriends, and ex-partners
commit 15% of workplace homicides against women.
(13) Studies indicate that as much as 74% of
employed battered women surveyed were harassed at work by
their abusive partners.
(14) According to a 1998 report of the U.S. General
Accounting Office, between one-fourth and one-half of
domestic violence victims surveyed in 3 studies reported
that the victims lost a job due, at least in part, to
(15) Women who have experienced domestic violence
or dating violence are more likely than other women to be
unemployed, to suffer from health problems that can
affect employability and job performance, to report lower
personal income, and to rely on welfare.
(16) Abusers frequently seek to control their
partners by actively interfering with their ability to
work, including preventing their partners from going to
work, harassing their partners at work, limiting the
access of their partners to cash or transportation, and
sabotaging the child care arrangements of their partners.
(17) More than one-half of women receiving welfare
have been victims of domestic violence as adults and
between one-fourth and one-third reported being abused in
the last year.
(18) Sexual assault, whether occurring in or out of
the workplace, can impair an employee's work performance,
require time away from work, and undermine the employee's
ability to maintain a job. Almost 50% of sexual assault
survivors lose their jobs or are forced to quit in the
aftermath of the assaults.
(19) More than one-fourth of stalking victims
report losing time from work due to the stalking and 7%
never return to work.
(20) (A) According to the National Institute of
Justice, crime costs an estimated $450,000,000,000
annually in medical expenses, lost earnings, social
service costs, pain, suffering, and reduced quality of
life for victims, which harms the Nation's productivity
and drains the Nation's resources. (B) Violent crime
accounts for $426,000,000,000 per year of this amount.
(C) Rape exacts the highest costs per victim of any
criminal offense, and accounts for $127,000,000,000 per
year of the amount described in subparagraph (A).
(21) The Bureau of National Affairs has estimated
that domestic violence costs United States employers
between $3,000,000,000 and $5,000,000,000 annually in
lost time and productivity. Other reports have estimated
that domestic violence costs United States employers
(22) United States medical costs for domestic
violence have been estimated to be $31,000,000,000 per
(23) Ninety-four percent of corporate security and
safety directors at companies nationwide rank domestic
violence as a high security concern.
(24) Forty-nine percent of senior executives
recently surveyed said domestic violence has a harmful
effect on their company's productivity, 47% said domestic
violence negatively affects attendance, and 44% said
domestic violence increases health care costs.
(25) Employees, including individuals participating
in welfare to work programs, may need to take time during
business hours to:
(A) obtain orders of protection;
(B) seek medical or legal assistance,
counseling, or other services; or
(C) look for housing in order to escape from
Section 10. Definitions. In this Act, except as otherwise
(1) "Commerce" includes trade, traffic, commerce,
transportation, or communication; and "industry or
activity affecting commerce" means any activity,
business, or industry in commerce or in which a labor
dispute would hinder or obstruct commerce or the free
flow of commerce, and includes "commerce" and any
"industry affecting commerce".
(2) "Course of conduct" means a course of
repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to
a person or conveying oral or written threats, including
threats conveyed through electronic communications, or
threats implied by conduct.
(3) "Department" means the Department of Labor.
(4) "Director" means the Director of Labor.
(5) "Domestic or sexual violence" means domestic
violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
(6) "Domestic violence" includes acts or threats of
violence, not including acts of self defense, as defined
in subdivision (3) of Section 103 of the Illinois
Domestic Violence Act of 1986, sexual assault, or death
to the person, or the person's family or household
member, if the conduct causes the specific person to have
such distress or fear.
(7) "Electronic communications" includes
communications via telephone, mobile phone, computer,
e-mail, video recorder, fax machine, telex, or pager.
(8) "Employ" includes to suffer or permit to work.
(A) In general. "Employee" means any person
employed by an employer.
(B) Basis. "Employee" includes a person
employed as described in subparagraph (A) on a full
or part-time basis, or as a participant in a work
assignment as a condition of receipt of federal or
State income-based public assistance.
(10) "Employer" means any of the following: (A) the
State or any agency of the State; (B) any unit of local
government or school district; or (C) any person that
employs at least 50 employees.
(11) "Employment benefits" means all benefits
provided or made available to employees by an employer,
including group life insurance, health insurance,
disability insurance, sick leave, annual leave,
educational benefits, and pensions, regardless of whether
such benefits are provided by a practice or written
policy of an employer or through an "employee benefit
plan". "Employee benefit plan" or "plan" means an
employee welfare benefit plan or an employee pension
benefit plan or a plan which is both an employee welfare
benefit plan and an employee pension benefit plan.
(12) "Family or household member" means a spouse,
parent, son, daughter, and persons jointly residing in
the same household.
(13) "Parent" means the biological parent of an
employee or an individual who stood in loco parentis to
an employee when the employee was a son or daughter. "Son
or daughter" means a biological, adopted, or foster
child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person
standing in loco parentis, who is under 18 years of age,
or is 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care
because of a mental or physical disability.
(14) "Perpetrator" means an individual who commits
or is alleged to have committed any act or threat of
domestic or sexual violence.
(15) "Person" means an individual, partnership,
association, corporation, business trust, legal
representative, or any organized group of persons.
(16) "Public agency" means the Government of the
State or political subdivision thereof; any agency of the
State, or of a political subdivision of the State; or any
(17) "Public assistance" includes cash, food
stamps, medical assistance, housing assistance, and other
benefits provided on the basis of income by a public
agency or public employer.
(18) "Reduced work schedule" means a work schedule
that reduces the usual number of hours per workweek, or
hours per workday, of an employee.
(19) "Repeatedly" means on 2 or more occasions.
(20) "Sexual assault" means any conduct proscribed
by the Criminal Code of 1961 in Sections 12-13, 12-14,
12-14.1, 12-15, and 12-16.
(21) "Stalking" means any conduct proscribed by the
Criminal Code of 1961 in Sections 12-7.3 and 12-7.4.
(22) "Victim" or "survivor" means an individual who
has been subjected to domestic or sexual violence.
(23) "Victim services organization" means a
nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that provides
assistance to victims of domestic or sexual violence or
to advocates for such victims, including a rape crisis
center, an organization carrying out a domestic violence
program, an organization operating a shelter or providing
counseling services, or a legal services organization or
other organization providing assistance through the legal
Section 15. Purposes. The purposes of this Act are:
(1) to promote the State's interest in reducing
domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and
stalking by enabling victims of domestic or sexual
violence to maintain the financial independence necessary
to leave abusive situations, achieve safety, and minimize
the physical and emotional injuries from domestic or
sexual violence, and to reduce the devastating economic
consequences of domestic or sexual violence to employers
(2) to address the failure of existing laws to
protect the employment rights of employees who are
victims of domestic or sexual violence and employees with
a family or household member who is a victim of domestic
or sexual violence, by protecting the civil and economic
rights of those employees, and by furthering the equal
opportunity of women for economic self-sufficiency and
employment free from discrimination;
(3) to accomplish the purposes described in
paragraphs (1) and (2) by entitling employed victims of
domestic or sexual violence to take unpaid leave to seek
medical help, legal assistance, counseling, safety
planning, and other assistance without penalty from their
Section 20. Entitlement to leave due to domestic or
(a) Leave requirement.
(1) Basis. An employee who is a victim of domestic
or sexual violence or has a family or household member
who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence whose
interests are not adverse to the employee as it relates
to the domestic or sexual violence may take unpaid leave
from work to address domestic or sexual violence by:
(A) seeking medical attention for, or
recovering from, physical or psychological injuries
caused by domestic or sexual violence to the
employee or the employee's family or household
(B) obtaining services from a victim services
organization for the employee or the employee's
family or household member;
(C) obtaining psychological or other
counseling for the employee or the employee's family
or household member;
(D) participating in safety planning,
temporarily or permanently relocating, or taking
other actions to increase the safety of the employee
or the employee's family or household member from
future domestic or sexual violence or ensure
economic security; or
(E) seeking legal assistance or remedies to
ensure the health and safety of the employee or the
employee's family or household member, including
preparing for or participating in any civil or
criminal legal proceeding related to or derived from
domestic or sexual violence.
(2) Period. Subject to subsection (c), an employee
shall be entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave
during any 12-month period. This Act does not create a
right for an employee to take unpaid leave that exceeds
the unpaid leave time allowed under, or is in addition to
the unpaid leave time permitted by, the federal Family
and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.).
(3) Schedule. Leave described in paragraph (1) may
be taken intermittently or on a reduced work schedule.
(b) Notice. The employee shall provide the employer with
at least 48 hours' advance notice of the employee's intention
to take the leave, unless providing such notice is not
practicable. When an unscheduled absence occurs, the employer
may not take any action against the employee if the employee,
within a reasonable period after the absence, provides
certification under subsection (c).
(1) In general. The employer may require the
employee to provide certification to the employer that:
(A) the employee or the employee's family or
household member is a victim of domestic or sexual
(B) the leave is for one of the purposes
enumerated in paragraph (a)(1).
The employee shall provide such certification to the
employer within a reasonable period after the employer
(2) Contents. An employee may satisfy the
certification requirement of paragraph (1) by providing
to the employer a sworn statement of the employee, and
upon obtaining such documents the employee shall provide:
(A) documentation from an employee, agent, or
volunteer of a victim services organization, an
attorney, a member of the clergy, or a medical or
other professional from whom the employee or the
employee's family or household member has sought
assistance in addressing domestic or sexual violence
and the effects of the violence;
(B) a police or court record; or
(C) other corroborating evidence.
(d) Confidentiality. All information provided to the
employer pursuant to subsection (b) or (c), including a
statement of the employee or any other documentation, record,
or corroborating evidence, and the fact that the employee has
requested or obtained leave pursuant to this Section, shall
be retained in the strictest confidence by the employer,
except to the extent that disclosure is:
(1) requested or consented to in writing by the
(2) otherwise required by applicable federal or
(e) Employment and benefits.
(1) Restoration to position.
(A) In general. Any employee who takes leave
under this Section for the intended purpose of the
leave shall be entitled, on return from such leave:
(i) to be restored by the employer to the
position of employment held by the employee
when the leave commenced; or
(ii) to be restored to an equivalent
position with equivalent employment benefits,
pay, and other terms and conditions of
(B) Loss of benefits. The taking of leave
under this Section shall not result in the loss of
any employment benefit accrued prior to the date on
which the leave commenced.
(C) Limitations. Nothing in this subsection
shall be construed to entitle any restored employee
(i) the accrual of any seniority or
employment benefits during any period of leave;
(ii) any right, benefit, or position of
employment other than any right, benefit, or
position to which the employee would have been
entitled had the employee not taken the leave.
(D) Construction. Nothing in this paragraph
shall be construed to prohibit an employer from
requiring an employee on leave under this Section to
report periodically to the employer on the status
and intention of the employee to return to work.
(2) Maintenance of health benefits.
(A) Coverage. Except as provided in
subparagraph (B), during any period that an employee
takes leave under this Section, the employer shall
maintain coverage for the employee and any family or
household member under any group health plan for the
duration of such leave at the level and under the
conditions coverage would have been provided if the
employee had continued in employment continuously
for the duration of such leave.
(B) Failure to return from leave. The employer
may recover the premium that the employer paid for
maintaining coverage for the employee and the
employee's family or household member under such
group health plan during any period of leave under
this Section if:
(i) the employee fails to return from
leave under this Section after the period of
leave to which the employee is entitled has
(ii) the employee fails to return to work
for a reason other than:
(I) the continuation, recurrence, or
onset of domestic or sexual violence that
entitles the employee to leave pursuant to
this Section; or
(II) other circumstances beyond the
control of the employee.
(i) Issuance. An employer may require an
employee who claims that the employee is unable
to return to work because of a reason described
in subclause (I) or (II) of subparagraph
(B)(ii) to provide, within a reasonable period
after making the claim, certification to the
employer that the employee is unable to return
to work because of that reason.
(ii) Contents. An employee may satisfy
the certification requirement of clause (i) by
providing to the employer:
(I) a sworn statement of the
(II) documentation from an employee,
agent, or volunteer of a victim services
organization, an attorney, a member of the
clergy, or a medical or other professional
from whom the employee has sought
assistance in addressing domestic or
sexual violence and the effects of that
(III) a police or court record; or
(IV) other corroborating evidence.
(D) Confidentiality. All information provided
to the employer pursuant to subparagraph (C),
including a statement of the employee or any other
documentation, record, or corroborating evidence,
and the fact that the employee is not returning to
work because of a reason described in subclause (I)
or (II) of subparagraph (B)(ii) shall be retained in
the strictest confidence by the employer, except to
the extent that disclosure is:
(i) requested or consented to in writing
by the employee; or
(ii) otherwise required by applicable
federal or State law.
(f) Prohibited acts.
(1) Interference with rights.
(A) Exercise of rights. It shall be unlawful
for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or
deny the exercise of or the attempt to exercise any
right provided under this Section.
(B) Employer discrimination. It shall be
unlawful for any employer to discharge or harass any
individual, or otherwise discriminate against any
individual with respect to compensation, terms,
conditions, or privileges of employment of the
individual (including retaliation in any form or
manner) because the individual:
(i) exercised any right provided under
this Section; or
(ii) opposed any practice made unlawful
by this Section.
(C) Public agency sanctions. It shall be
unlawful for any public agency to deny, reduce, or
terminate the benefits of, otherwise sanction, or
harass any individual, or otherwise discriminate
against any individual with respect to the amount,
terms, or conditions of public assistance of the
individual (including retaliation in any form or
manner) because the individual:
(i) exercised any right provided under
this Section; or
(ii) opposed any practice made unlawful
by this Section.
(2) Interference with proceedings or inquiries. It
shall be unlawful for any person to discharge or in any
other manner discriminate (as described in subparagraph
(B) or (C) of paragraph (1)) against any individual
because such individual:
(A) has filed any charge, or has instituted or
caused to be instituted any proceeding, under or
related to this Section;
(B) has given, or is about to give, any
information in connection with any inquiry or
proceeding relating to any right provided under this
(C) has testified, or is about to testify, in
any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right
provided under this Section.
Section 25. Existing leave usable for addressing domestic
or sexual violence. An employee who is entitled to take paid
or unpaid leave (including family, medical, sick, annual,
personal, or similar leave) from employment, pursuant to
federal, State, or local law, a collective bargaining
agreement, or an employment benefits program or plan, may
elect to substitute any period of such leave for an
equivalent period of leave provided under Section 20.
Section 30. Victims' employment sustainability;
prohibited discriminatory acts.
(a) An employer shall not fail to hire, refuse to hire,
discharge, or harass any individual, otherwise discriminate
against any individual with respect to the compensation,
terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the
individual, or retaliate against an individual in any form or
manner, and a public agency shall not deny, reduce, or
terminate the benefits of, otherwise sanction, or harass any
individual, otherwise discriminate against any individual
with respect to the amount, terms, or conditions of public
assistance of the individual, or retaliate against an
individual in any form or manner, because:
(1) the individual involved:
(A) is or is perceived to be a victim of
domestic or sexual violence;
(B) attended, participated in, prepared for,
or requested leave to attend, participate in, or
prepare for a criminal or civil court proceeding
relating to an incident of domestic or sexual
violence of which the individual or a family or
household member of the individual was a victim; or
(C) requested an adjustment to a job
structure, workplace facility, or work requirement,
including a transfer, reassignment, or modified
schedule, leave, a changed telephone number or
seating assignment, installation of a lock, or
implementation of a safety procedure in response to
actual or threatened domestic or sexual violence,
regardless of whether the request was granted; or
(2) the workplace is disrupted or threatened by the
action of a person whom the individual states has
committed or threatened to commit domestic or sexual
violence against the individual or the individual's
family or household member.
(b) In this Section:
(1) "Discriminate", used with respect to the terms,
conditions, or privileges of employment or with respect
to the terms or conditions of public assistance, includes
not making a reasonable accommodation to the known
limitations resulting from circumstances relating to
being a victim of domestic or sexual violence or a family
or household member being a victim of domestic or sexual
violence of an otherwise qualified individual:
(A) who is:
(i) an applicant or employee of the
employer (including a public agency); or
(ii) an applicant for or recipient of
public assistance from a public agency; and
(B) who is:
(i) a victim of domestic or sexual
(ii) with a family or household member
who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence
whose interests are not adverse to the
individual in subparagraph (A) as it relates to
the domestic or sexual violence;
unless the employer or public agency can demonstrate that
the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the
operation of the employer or public agency.
(2) "Qualified individual" means:
(A) in the case of an applicant or employee
described in paragraph (1)(A)(i), an individual who,
but for being a victim of domestic or sexual
violence or with a family or household member who is
a victim of domestic or sexual violence, can perform
the essential functions of the employment position
that such individual holds or desires; or
(B) in the case of an applicant or recipient
described in paragraph (1)(A)(ii), an individual
who, but for being a victim of domestic or sexual
violence or with a family or household member who is
a victim of domestic or sexual violence, can satisfy
the essential requirements of the program providing
the public assistance that the individual receives
(3) "Reasonable accommodation" may include an
adjustment to a job structure, workplace facility, or
work requirement, including a transfer, reassignment, or
modified schedule, leave, a changed telephone number or
seating assignment, installation of a lock, or
implementation of a safety procedure, in response to
actual or threatened domestic or sexual violence.
(4) Undue hardship.
(A) In general. "Undue hardship" means an
action requiring significant difficulty or expense,
when considered in light of the factors set forth in
(B) Factors to be considered. In determining
whether a reasonable accommodation would impose an
undue hardship on the operation of an employer or
public agency, factors to be considered include:
(i) the nature and cost of the reasonable
accommodation needed under this Section;
(ii) the overall financial resources of
the facility involved in the provision of the
reasonable accommodation, the number of persons
employed at such facility, the effect on
expenses and resources, or the impact otherwise
of such accommodation on the operation of the
(iii) the overall financial resources of
the employer or public agency, the overall size
of the business of an employer or public agency
with respect to the number of employees of the
employer or public agency, and the number,
type, and location of the facilities of an
employer or public agency; and
(iv) the type of operation of the
employer or public agency, including the
composition, structure, and functions of the
workforce of the employer or public agency, the
geographic separateness of the facility from
the employer or public agency, and the
administrative or fiscal relationship of the
facility to the employer or public agency.
Section 35. Enforcement.
(a) Department of Labor.
(1) The Director or his or her authorized
representative shall administer and enforce the
provisions of this Act. Any employee or a representative
of employees who believes his or her rights under this
Act have been violated may, within 3 years after the
alleged violation occurs, file a complaint with the
Department requesting a review of the alleged violation.
A copy of the complaint shall be sent to the person who
allegedly committed the violation, who shall be the
respondent. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Director
shall cause such investigation to be made as he or she
deems appropriate. The investigation shall provide an
opportunity for a public hearing at the request of any
party to the review to enable the parties to present
information relating to the alleged allegation. The
parties shall be given written notice of the time and
place of the hearing at least 7 days before the hearing.
Upon receiving the report of the investigation, the
Director shall make findings of fact. If the Director
finds that a violation did occur, he or she shall issue a
decision incorporating his or her findings and requiring
the party committing the violation to take such
affirmative action to abate the violation as the Director
deems appropriate, including:
(A) damages equal to the amount of wages,
salary, employment benefits, public assistance, or
other compensation denied or lost to such individual
by reason of the violation, and the interest on that
amount calculated at the prevailing rate;
(B) such equitable relief as may be
appropriate, including but not limited to hiring,
reinstatement, promotion, and reasonable
(C) reasonable attorney's fees, reasonable
expert witness fees, and other costs of the action
to be paid by the respondent to a prevailing
If the Director finds that there was no violation,
he or she shall issue an order denying the complaint. An
order issued by the Director under this Section shall be
final and subject to judicial review under the
Administrative Review Law.
(2) The Director shall adopt rules necessary to
administer and enforce this Act in accordance with the
Illinois Administrative Procedure Act. The Director shall
have the powers and the parties shall have the rights
provided in the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act for
contested cases, including, but not limited to,
provisions for depositions, subpoena power and
procedures, and discovery and protective order
(3) Intervention. The Attorney General of Illinois
may intervene on behalf of the Department if the
Department certifies that the case is of general public
importance. Upon such intervention the court may award
such relief as is authorized to be granted to an employee
who has filed a complaint or whose representative has
filed a complaint under this Section.
(b) Refusal to pay damages. Any employer who has been
ordered by the Director of Labor or the court to pay damages
under this Section and who fails to do so within 30 days
after the order is entered is liable to pay a penalty of 1%
per calendar day to the employee for each day of delay in
paying the damages to the employee.
Section 40. Notification. Every employer covered by this
Act shall post and keep posted, in conspicuous places on the
premises of the employer where notices to employees are
customarily posted, a notice, to be prepared or approved by
the Director of Labor, summarizing the requirements of this
Act and information pertaining to the filing of a charge. The
Director shall furnish copies of summaries and rules to
employers upon request without charge.
Section 45. Effect on other laws and employment
(a) More protective laws, agreements, programs, and
plans. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to supersede
any provision of any federal, State, or local law, collective
bargaining agreement, or employment benefits program or plan
(1) greater leave benefits for victims of domestic
or sexual violence than the rights established under this
(2) leave benefits for a larger population of
victims of domestic or sexual violence (as defined in
such law, agreement, program, or plan) than the victims
of domestic or sexual violence covered under this Act.
(b) Less protective laws, agreements, programs, and
plans. The rights established for employees who are victims
of domestic or sexual violence and employees with a family or
household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual
violence under this Act shall not be diminished by any
federal, State or local law, collective bargaining agreement,
or employment benefits program or plan.
Section 905. Severability. If any provision of this Act
or the application of such provision to any person or
circumstance is held to be in violation of the Unites States
Constitution or Illinois Constitution, the remainder of the
provisions of this Act and the application of those
provisions to any person or circumstance shall not be
Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
More than one in six people have been victims of stalking - and nearly a quarter of women
A new survey for the 7 O'Clock News on BBC THREE has discovered that more than one in six respondents aged 16 to 34 have been stalked.
For women the figure was much higher - 23% of the women in the poll claimed they had been victims of stalking while just 12% of the male respondents said the same.
The survey also found that for women, stalkers were much less likely to be strangers - 42% said the stalker was well known to them.
But of the men who said they had been stalked, only 27% were very familiar with the perpetrator - most (36%) did not know the person at all.
Stalking - defined by the poll and a past British Crime Survey as persistent and unwanted attention where the victim feels pestered and harassed - is not just a problem for celebrities.
Experts speaking to the 7 O'Clock News insist it is a crime that affects people in all walks of life.
In fact, those who are well off - professionals and managers in the AB social group - are much less likely to be victims. 24% of those in the lowest DE group, which includes manual and casual workers and the unemployed, claimed they had been stalked. That contrasts with 14% of those in the AB group.
Paul Infield, a barrister who works with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, told the 7 O'Clock News that the overall number of victims is high because 'stalking' covers a wide range of cases.
"It can contain anything from the ex-boyfriend being a pest, right up to the obsessive, manipulative stalker whose endgame is rape or murder. And there's a whole spectrum of stalking in between."
Of those respondents who said they had been stalked, some 29% said it had been through text messaging.
Perhaps unsurprisingly it was those stalking victims in the 16-17 age group who were more likely to have been harassed by text - 45% of those had been stalked in this way, as opposed to 20% of the 25-34 year old victims.
Child protection experts told the 7 O'Clock News that text stalkers can be stopped.
John Carr, from NCH Action for Children, said: "The police are interested in it, the mobile phone companies want to know about it because they want to stop this kind of abuse on their networks. Don't suffer in silence."
Notes to Editors
The BBC THREE-commissioned ICM survey asked 830 respondents in the 16-34 age group three questions between 12 and 20 November 2003.
The survey asked: "People can be pestered or harassed, either by someone they know or a stranger. This person might do things like phoning or writing, following them or waiting outside their home. Since you were 16, have you ever been the subject of such persistent and unwanted attention (from people you know or strangers?)"
The full report will be screened on Monday 1 December and Tuesday 2 December at 7.00pm on BBC THREE.
Use of any material in this release must be credited to the 7 OClock News on BBC THREE.
Safety for Stalking Victims
How to save your privacy, your sanity, and your life
by Lyn Bates
It is not a rare problem - one out of every 12 women, and one out of every 20 men, will be stalked sometime in their life, according to the National Institute of Justice. Most of those episodes end well. Some of them don't. It's important to learn to judge when nuisance turns to danger, and what to do right from the beginning to reduce the chance of that happening. And if you're already being stalked, it's critical to learn what you can do to reduce the danger.
If you are being stalked, or if you are concerned about someone who is the target of this potentially very dangerous crime, safety should be at the top of your priority list. Being the target of an obsessed person is a frightening experience. But it isn't necessary to live in fear. Learning how to be safe is the key.
This book explains what stalking is, how to keep it from overwhelming your life, what is known about evaluating a stalker's potential to turn violent, and how to keep the situation from becoming worse, while being ready for anything. Using scenarios based on real stalking cases, this book overflows with detailed, practical strategies to put you in control of your life, and let you break the cycle of terror.
Who stalks, who is stalked, and why
Evaluating the seriousness of the situation
Replacing terror with sensible precautions
Restraining orders - good or bad?
Should you try to "disappear," and if so, how?
Protecting your children
Maintaining your privacy
Self-defense - what works, what doesn't
Safety on a budget
Strategies that don't work
Helpful web sites and organizations
See the full Table of Contents
What people are saying about this book
I want you to know how much your book helped me to regain my strength and resist defeat in my personal stalking case.
Thanks a zillion,
As both a sworn police officer for over 25 years and as a self-defense instructor, I found Lyn Bates' Safety for Stalking Victims absolutely on point. It is invaluable for anyone "in the situation" but it is more than that. It should be read by any potential victim beforehand . . . and it is "must reading" for the kind of strong women and men to whom future victims will turn when they are in trouble.
Massad Ayoob, Trainer
Safety for Stalking Victims is an essential guide for victims of this crime, offering practical and readable must-have information for self-preservation and protection.
Doreen Orion, M.D. Forensic psychiatrist, author of I Know You Really Love Me: A Psychiatrist's Account of Erotomania, Stalking and Obsessive Love
Safety for Stalking Victims is truly one of the most extensive and practical publications written to assist victims not only to understand the problem, but to find practical solutions. Very well written! Easy to read and understand!
Michael Scott, author How to Lose Anyone Anywhere
... provides a concise and user-friendly set of techniques that we can all implement, whether we are female or male. ... It provides so many options that one can flexibly choose what will be the best strategy for themselves.
Linda M. Kinczkowski, assistant professor, Eastern Michigan University, book review in The Law Enforcement Trainer
Your book is informative and I have followed the advice in taking responsibility for my personal safety.
Safety for Stalking Victims, by Lyn Bates, is published by iUniverse Press, ISBN 0-595-18160-0. List price $17.95
Axe Deodorant Bodyspray For Men, Tsunami
AXE Tsunami: Want to Stalk Your Husband?
Jul 27 '05
Author's Product Rating
smells great, long-lasting
The Bottom Line
The Bottom Line is that I now have a scent I can associate with hubby and he smells a little better when he comes home from the gym.
I generally don't review fragrances here on Epinions, and I am probably one of the most cynical consumers ever to hit Earth. Marketing people must hate folks like me, because even if I bother to watch your commercials, odds are I won't remember it, and in the rare instances that I DO remember the commercial, I have no idea what you were advertising. It is, therefore, most likely a once-in-a-lifetime event that I noticed the commercials for AXE Deodorant Bodyspray for Men, and even more strange, spotted it at the store and decided to pick some up for my husband.
::: The Spray That Makes Women Stalkers :::
I'm sure that you saw the commercials for AXE Deodorant Bodyspray for Men, with women stalking the man wearing the fragrance everywhere he went. My husband isn't a big fragrance fan, but, let's be honest, when you have a husband who often runs with the guys after work, and plays on his company's softball team, he isn't always the sweetest smelling man when he gets home. I picked up the AXE Deodorant Bodyspray for Men hoping that it might add a bit of oomph to his regular deodorant.
AXE Deodorant Bodyspray for Men comes in a four-ounce aerosol can, and the Tsunami scent is described as "ocean meets citrus" which is actually a fairly good description of the scent, which is clean and crisp. Best of all, the scent is long-lasting without being overpowering; hubby can spray it on in the morning, and even when we head for bed after midnight, he still has a yummy smell.
::: Converting the Unfragranced Husband :::
I honestly don't know what made my husband actually try the AXE Deodorant Bodyspray for Men, because in the ten years we've been together he has NEVER used a fragrance of any kind, and in fact, has met any suggestion of wearing a fragrance with scorn and derision.
However, after I brought the can home, curiosity must have gotten the better of him, because he now doesn't leave the house in the morning without it. In fact, on a recent grocery trip, he came home with several cans because the one grocery he shopped at had decided it would no longer carry it. A quick survey while he plays his Xbox reveals that he likes it because "It lasts a long time." I like it because it really does have a pleasant scent, and it does make his returns from the gym or softball more bearable.
I'm not sure how true the commercials are, but I definitely do like to sniff him more when he is wearing his AXE Deodorant Bodyspray for Men, although I don't think I'd go so far as to stalk other men into elevators like the commercials. I also think that the advertising is a little cheesy, but then again, it made someone like me remember the product, so it must be working.
At a little under $5.00 for a 4-ounce can, it is definitely an economical way to convert even the fragrance-phobe man into someone even the Fab Five might approve of, and AXE Deodorant Bodyspray for Men in Tsunami has been added to my regular grocery list.
What To Do If You Are Stalked
PART ONE: SAFETY
First of all, make sure that you are safe. If you need to call 911, do it!
If you feel threatened or unsafe, get the police involved. Sometimes people are reluctant to call the police. Some of their reasons are feelings of guilt or fear of looking foolish.
Many people know their stalkers and are reluctant to call the police. They may feel sorry for the stalker or have feelings of guilt for various reasons. This is often the case with an ex-boyfriend or girl-friend. You often hear, "I feel terrible.... I broke up with him and I don't want to make him feel worse by calling the police on him. It's probably nothing. He'll stop." Nice people think that way, but a stalker wont stop stalking because someone is nice. Niceness usually gives the stalker the power to
continue stalking. If you have told him no and he is still after you, he probably isn't going to get tired of stalking you.
If you are afraid of looking foolish to the police, don't be. They have seen it all, and someone worried about a stalker is nothing to them. They would rather take the time to do the paper work on a possible stalker than do the paper work on a murder victim. Believe me, the police want to protect you, and they know how stalkers operate. Even if it turns out to be nothing, you should have your case on record with the authorities. Don't minimize your situation or your fear to the police. Tell them everything and give them details, even if it is embarrassing. (Remember, they have seen it all and heard it all!) If you are afraid, say so, but avoid hysteria. Avoid emotional personal attacks on your stalker. Just give them the facts. Ask them for advice. Most police officers will gladly give you numbers to local victim's resource centers and make sure your home is safe from attackers.
It is a good idea to know your state's laws about stalking. (See our links page.) The police can explain the law to you, or you can ask an attorney. If you can't afford a lawyer, ask a local victim resource center to refer you to legal aid.
Always assume that your stalker is watching you and act accordingly. Don't go anywhere alone! Your stalker may follow you. Have a friend go with you to the store, to the ATM, to the laundromat, everywhere. This goes for male victims of stalking as well. Women stalkers are dangerous too. Some stalkers, male or female, are more likely to back off, or at least remain in the shadows, when another person - a witness- is present.
Keep your gas tank full and have some cash on hand. Keep a small bag packed and ready with a couple of days worth of clothes, toiletries, and medication in case you need to get away suddenly. Keep those doors and windows locked! Make a habit of locking the door as soon as you close it. Do the same when you are driving. If you need to, add a dead bolt lock. Make sure there's no way your stalker could have a key to your house, office, or car. Change the locks if you must. Light the outside of your house or apartment at night and make sure the bushes are cut low.
Tell everyone you know what you are going through. Alert your friends and relatives. Your landlord needs to be alerted. Most landlords will not give away information about you and will refuse access to your apartment without your written permission, but stalkers are clever and manipulative. Make sure your landlord knows to alert you if someone contacts him about you. Most bosses prefer to know, too, but be sure to add that you don't intend to let your situation interfere with your job performance if you are worried about your boss' reaction. Tell everyone who this person is, what he is doing, and what you have done to stop him.
PART TWO: STOP THE STALKER
Tell your stalker in no uncertain terms, "NO!" Have a witness if possible. Do not try to be rude, but do not waste your energy trying to be polite. If you convey any sort of message other than "NO WAY" to your stalker, he is going to assume you meant "keep trying" and he wont quit. Practice in front of a mirror or with a friend until you think you have it right. Without being antagonistic, tell this person to leave you alone. If you stalker calls you, tell him you will not talk to him. Don't say, "I can't talk to you." Instead, tell him, "I wont talk to you."
Refuse flowers or other deliveries. Some stalkers will send flowers or balloons anonymously to cover their tracks, but refuse these also - they can always be sent to a local hospital or nursing home if you refuse to accept them. If he visits you at home or at work, tell him to leave.
You are going to need to collect evidence. Do this as a precaution even if you do not intend to take legal action. Every detail, no matter how small, is important. Some stalkers are very smart and it seems like they are hiding their identities. Maybe they are, but save everything anyway. Keep a journal of every single thing that happens. Leave nothing out. Include dates, times, witnesses, and detailed instances.
If your stalker is calling you on the phone, invest in Caller ID if you can afford it and it is offered in your area. Many markets have Enhanced Caller Id which shows the caller's name as well as his phone number.
Many stalkers know that they can punch in a code to keep their name and phone number private. If possible, you can have calls marked "private" blocked. This way your stalker wont be able to get through to you unless he is willing to divulge his name and phone number. Other times stalkers will start using pay phones.
If you can afford it, get a second phone line installed. If you have your number changed, a stalker can get your new number, even if it is unlisted. If you get the second line, he may never know about it and will keep using the first line to call you. Just turn the ringer off that phone and hook up an answering machine. Save the tapes for the police. You don't even have to listen to the messages if they upset you too much. You wont miss any calls because your family and friends will have your private number to the second line.
What if you can't afford Caller ID or a second line or an answering machine? It is more difficult to prove stalking and harassing, but it can be done. You must contact the phone company. They have equipment to trace calls. Again, keep a detailed journal with times, dates, and what was said. As soon as you realize it is your stalker calling, hang up the phone. Unplug it if the stalker calls back and the ringing gets on your nerves, but don't answer the phone.
Some stalkers operate by getting your friends or family involved. Your stalker may badmouth you, try to get your friends on his side, or even threaten and intimidate your allies. If your stalker is badmouthing you, tell your friends your side of it. Let the facts speak for themselves.
Do not have your friends play games with your stalker. If your friends are playing detective trying to get evidence or if they are trying in other ways to be helpful, they could be endangering you and themselves. The goal is to have no contact at all. Tell your friends and family to stay away from this person, even if he appears to be nice. Stalkers are not nice people; they are manipulative people.
If your stalker has threatened your friends or family, the police need to know about it. Call them immediately. Have any corroborating evidence for the report.
Often victims of stalking will want to get restraining orders. Call your local clerk of court for information on how to get a restraining order. Remember, sometimes it costs money to obtain a restraining order, and even if you ask for one you may not necessarily get one. Even if you do get a restraining order, you are not necessarily safe just because you have the order. All it means is that your stalker is legally supposed to stay away from you - it does not mean that your stalker will stay away from you. He may violate the order, and may in fact become antagonized by the order. Having the restraining order will make arrest and prosecution easier, but it wont necessarily stop the stalker from stalking you - or worse. Use your best judgment about obtaining restraining orders. Depending on the circumstances of your stalking, you might be able to have your stalker arrested for trespassing, threatening communications, or other crime instead.
PART THREE: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Usually the more you understand about a situation, the better you are able to handle it. That's usually the case when you are being stalked. Learn everything you can about stalking and stalkers. You may never understand your stalker's mind, but you may learn what to expect. Most of all, you will know that you are not alone in being stalked. Most major cities have local victim's resource centers, and they are excellent sources of information from local laws to support groups.
Never respond to your stalker or turn the tables on him! You should, however, learn all you can about who your stalker is. There are many ways to search for information, locally and on the Internet. I highly recommend a visit to Be Your Own Private Investigator, an excellent site, for a comprehensive list of resources.
Resources for Stalking Victims
American Self-Help Clearinghouse
Provides national listings and directories to help with finding or forming a support group in your area.
Communities Against Violence Network (CAVNET) www.cavnet.org
Legal Help USA www.legal-help-usa.org
National Criminal Justice Reference Service www.ncjrs.org
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sponsored by the National Institute of Justice. Victims and others an order papers reporting various studies done under grants by the Institute on stalking, violence and domestic abuse.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
3616 Far West Blvd., Suite 101-297
Austin, TX 87831
A free, 24-hour hotline that provides victims with referrals to agencies in their own areas.
National Self-Help Clearinghouse
Provides national listings and directories to help with finding or forming a support group in your area.
National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)
1757 Park Rd., NW
Washington, DC 20010
(800) 879-6682 or (202) 232-6682
A free, 24-hour hotline that provides information and referral for victims to resources in their own states.
National Center for Victims of Crime
2000 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036.
General phone number is: 202-467-8700.
NCVC is home to the Stalking Resource Center, a project funded by the Department of Justice (VAWO). You can get more info about the Stalking Resource Center (SRC) on their website: www.ncvc.org. The link directly to the SRC is: http://www.ncvc.org/src/index.html.
In addition, through the Victim Helpline (800) FYI-CALL, TTY (800)211-7996, website (www.ncvc.org) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org ), victims and others may obtain information and referral on victim and crime-related issues. Open M-F: 8:30 - 8:30 EST.
The San Diego County Stalking Strike Force
Provides assistance to San Diego stalking victims.
www.stalkingassistance.com - The Stalking Assistance Site is a comprehensive, practical resource designed by women with over 20 years of combined experience in federal law enforcement and threat management. Step-by step detailed instruction is provided in a variety of relevant areas. Professional consulting services are donated at a reduced rate by a highly experienced threat assessment and management consultant and a 900 telephone number is additionally offered as another option for immediate support.
Survivors of Stalking (SOS)
P.O. Box 20762
Tampa, FL 33622
Provides workshops on stalking. Victims and others can also order cassettes of these workshops that include information on stalking, laws, threat assessment, safety, and workplace violence. Keeps list of support groups for victims in various states and provides information, support, and referral for victims who call.
The Stalking Victims Sanctuary
Tricounty advocacy center in Rensselaer County New York; Victim Advocacy Program of the Capital District, 5 Broadway, Suite 201, Troy, NY 12180, E-mail: VACCD@aol.com
DOJ First Annual Stalking Report to Congress (1996)
DOJ Second Annual Stalking Report to Congress (1997)
Model Antistalking Code
Bureau of Justice Assistance Seminar on Stalking Law Implementation
National Victim Center stalking law fact sheets
National Victim Center help guide for stalking victims
National Victim Center safety tips
Wired patrol http://www.wiredpatrol.org
Portland (OR) stalking information
"The Message Relay Center" acts as a mediator between > parents when communication is either undesired or too dangerous to be > conducted. This is especially true where domestic violence or stalking is > involved. We can assist you in these type of situations to prevent the > aggressor in these situations from harming the other parties. Please feel > free to contact me MessageRelayCenter@msn.com
www.stopdv.com Provides information on domestic violence, stalking and stalking laws.
Cyberstalking: A New Challenge For Law Enforcement and Industry: A Report from the Attorney General to the Vice President http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/cyberstalking.htm
Privacy Rights Clearing House http://www.privacyrights.org
The Epidemic of Cyberstalking
As technology advances, so does its seedy underbelly. Cyberstalkers have terrorized thousands, but law enforcement often is unable or unwilling to deal with it. Congress is studying a bill to address the growing problem. By Katie Dean.
Cyberstalked? Use Common Sense
You wouldn't give a stranger on the street your name, address, phone number, or pictures of yourself. Internet safety advocates say you shouldn't do it online, either. By Katie Dean.
The Stalked Need a Safety Net
Jayne Hitchcock couldn't get the help she needed when she was cyberstalked four years ago. Now she's helping others -- by training law enforcement. By Katie Dean.
Not Victims http://www.smalltime.com/notvictims/
Helpful guide for stalking victims http://www.nvc.org/ddir/info44.htm
Stalking: Questions and answers http://www.nvc.org/ddir/info43.htm
Are Being Stalked? Tips for your protection http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs14-stk.html
Barbara Schilfer Commemorative Clinic
489 College Street, Suite 503
Toronto, Ontario M6G 1A5
Provides free legal, counseling, cultural interpretation, and information and referral services to women who are survivors of violence.
Canadian Resource Center for Victims of Crime
141 Catherine Street, Suite 100
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1C3
Acts as a resource center for victims of crime and assists victims and their families in dealing with sentence administration, parole authorities, and securing legal counsel.
Victims for Justice
P.O. Box 22023
3079 Forestglade Drive
Windsor, Ontario N8R 2H5
An organization that provides a research library of stalking incidents in Canada as well as handouts on "how to Survive a Stalker" and "How to Safeguard Yourself."
Evonne von Heussen-Countryman, M.B.E
Director, N.A.S.H, U.K
P.O. Box 1309
Warwickshire, CV8 2YJ
Tel/Fax/ and (24hr voice mail): 011 44 1926 850089 or (01926 850089).
Mobile: 07944 244116.
Office hours: Tues to Thurs; 10:30am to 4:30pm.
Support line for distressed Victims only: Mondays 9:00am to 12:30pm and
Friday evenings 7:30pm to 10:00pm. We close on Bank Holidays, Statutory
holidays, and twice per year for a two-month periods to catch up with
backlog of work.
A site that deals with harassment law in the UK: www.harassment-law.co.uk
Allen law review article on United Kingdom stalking laws
Paper on the UK's Protection from Harassment Act, 1997 and its implementation and interpretation.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust
14 East Sheen Ave
London SW148AS, UK
tel. 0181 392 1839
In the Netherlands:
PO Box 11
9430 AA Westerbork
tel: +31 (0) 593-346476
My Sister Marquerite
A tribute by the sister of a stalking victim who was stabbed and killed by her stalker.
Victims Referral And Assistance Service
GPO Box 4356QQ
Melbourne Victoria 3001
tel (03) 9603 9797 or 1800 819 817
Victim Support Service
11 Halifax Street
Adelaide South Austraila 5000
tel. (08) 8231 5626 or 1800 182 368
New South Wales
Victims of Crime Bureau
Level 6, 299 Elizabeth Street
Sydney New South Wales 2000
tel. (02) 9374 3000 or 1800 633 063
Victims of Crime Assistance League (VOCAL)
tel. (02) 9743 1636 (Sydney)
tel. (02) 9426 5826 (Newcastle)
Assisting Victims of Crime
6th Floor, 81 St. George's Terrace
Perth, Western Australia 6000
tel. (09) 322 3711 or 1 800 818 988
Victims of Crime Association
5 Croydon Road
Woodridge Queensland 4114
tel. (07) 3290 2513 (brisbane Office)
tel. 1300 73 3777 (24 hour victim support)
Victims of Crime Service
160 New Town Road
New Town Tasmania 7008
tel. (03) 6228 7628
Australian Capital Territory
Victims of Crime Assistance League (VOCAL)
1 Iluka Street
Narrabundah ACT 2604
tel. (02) 6295 9600
Victims of Crime Assistance League (VOCAL)
43 Mitchell Street
Darwin NT 0800
tel. 1800 672 242 (24 hour)