This study will examine how interactions between victim assistance, criminal justice system, victims and stalkers influence the short and long term persistence, escalation and desistance of stalking among crime victims in New York City. Further, this study will examine differential patterns of help-seeking, criminal justice and social services responses across cultural groups. The prospective design will include in-depth structured interviews to be conducted with a sample of 200 women who may not have labeled their current or ex-intimate partner's behavior as stalking.
The interview instrument will capture data in seven domains, 1)demographic information/individual history on the victim and stalker; 2) prior relationship; 3) stalking behaviors; 4) physical violence; 5) victim's knowledge of stalker and stalker's knowledge of victim; 6) victim's assessment of stalker's motivation and risk; and 7) help-seeking and interventions.
Multivariate analyses will be used to examine relationships among the categorical variables, identify predictors of escalation and measure the correlates of criminal justice and social services interventions.
A further goal of this study is to test and refine existing stalker typologies. The implications of these findings could advance theory and contribute to the development of polices and practices among criminal justice and social service providers.