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A stalker may approach or follow the victim, or keep their residence under surveillance, setting up a perpetual cycle of fear for the victim and frustration or anger for the perpetrator. Here, subtypes of stalkers to determine which type of behavior his or her communications suggest.
Stalkers repeatedly send unwanted communications and/or persist in approaching victims, evoking a fear response. The stalker may use such means as telephone calls, letters, e-mail, graffiti, social media, and placing notices in the media. A stalker may approach or follow the victim, or keep their residence under surveillance. Perpetrators are not always male. For a podcast and further coverage on stalking, please click here. Below, subtypes of stalkers.1
â respond to an unwelcome end to a close relationship by actions intended to lead to reconciliation, an extraction of reparation from the victim or both. For the stalker, the behavior maintains some semblance of continued contact and relationship with the victim.
â pursue someone they have little, if any, relationship with in the mistaken belief that they are loved, or inevitably will be loved, by the victim. The stalking satisfies needs for contact and closeness while feeding fantasies of an eventual loving relationship.
â would-be persons seeking a partner. Given their ignorance or indifference to the usual courting rituals, they use methods that are, at best, counterproductive and, at worst, terrifying. The stalking provides an approximation of finding a partner.
â respond to a perceived insult or injury by actions aimed not just at revenge but at vindication. The stalking is the act of vengeance.
â pursue their desires for sexual gratification and control. The stalking is a rehearsal for the stalker's violent sexual fantasies and a partial satisfaction of voyeuristic and sadistic desires.
Further reading:Stalkers and Their Victims, by Paul E. Mullen, MBBS, DSc, and Michele PathÃ©, MBBS, from which this Tipsheet was adapted.
Related videos:Former FBI Profiler Talks About Ritualistic Serial RapistsExpert on Domestic and Sexual Violence Discusses Support Services for Stalking VictimsStalking Victim Security: Psychiatric Perspectives and Practical ApproachesLegislation, Epidemiology, and Classification Research on Stalking Discussed
1. Mullen PE, PathÃ½ M, Purcell R, Stuart GW. Study of stalkers. Am J Psychiatry. 1999;156:1244-1249.