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Describing Intimate Partner Stalking Over Time: An Effort to Inform Victim-Centered Service Provision

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2011
27 pages
Stalking has increasingly been the subject of legislation and research in the past 20 years.
Stalking has increasingly been the subject of legislation and research in the past 20 years. Within intimate partner violence, the context where it is most likely to occur, stalking predicts both greater danger and greater distress for the victim. However, research shows that practitioners are often unsure how to address stalking, and that the remedies available may not be effective. This longitudinal exploration of stalking focused on the experience of victims of intimate partner stalking and was conducted by Safe Horizon,an organization providing assistance to victims of violence and abuse in New York City. The sample of 82 women was interviewed monthly over 7 months, and the data were analyzed using growth curve models. We found that stalking decreased over time at a marginally significant level, and that change in stalking varied among participants. Perceived safety followed a similar pattern, increasing but not significantly, while stalking-related distress decreased significantly. The slopes of these variables were correlated, such that as stalking frequency decreased, perceived safety increased and distress decreased. Help-seeking was greater from court sources than victim services over the course of the study, but neither help source was related to a significant decrease in the stalking trajectory. According to victim report, orders of protection (OP) were helpful at some points and not at others. Implications of these results for offering victim-centered services are discussed. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.
Date Published: January 1, 2011