Prevalence of Stalking Victimization
Approximately 1 in 6 women (16.2%) in the United States has experienced stalking at some point in her lifetime in which she felt very fearful or believed that she or someone close to her would be harmed or killed as a result (Table 3.1).2 This translates to approximately 19.3 million adult women in the United States. About 4%, or approximately 5.2 million women, were stalked in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.
Approximately 1 in 19 men (5.2%) in the United States (approximately 5.9 million) has experienced stalking victimization at some point during his lifetime in which he felt very fearful or believed that he or someone close to him would be harmed or killed as a result, and 1.3% of men (about 1.4 million) reported being stalked in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.
Tactics Used in Lifetime Reports of Stalking Victimization
A variety of tactics were used to stalk victims. More than three-quarters of female stalking victims (78.8%) reported receiving unwanted phone calls, including voice or text messages, or hang ups (Figure 3.1). More than half of female victims (57.6%) reported being approached, such as at their home or work, and more than one-third (38.6%) were watched, followed or tracked with a listening or other device.
Similarly, about three-quarters of male victims (75.9%) reported receiving unwanted phone calls, voice or text messages, or hang ups (Figure 3.2). Just under half (43.5%) reported being approached by the perpetrator. Nearly one-third of male victims (31.0%) reported being watched, followed, or tracked.
Type of Perpetrator in Lifetime Reports of Stalking Victimization
For both female and male victims, stalking was often committed by people they knew or with whom they had a relationship. Two-thirds of the female victims of stalking (66.2%) reported stalking by a current or former intimate partner and nearly one-quarter (24.0%) reported stalking by an acquaintance (Figure 3.3). About 1 in 8 female victims (13.2%) reported stalking by a stranger.
Approximately 4 out of 10 male stalking victims (41.4%) reported that they had been stalked by an intimate partner in their lifetime, with a similar proportion indicating that they had been stalked by an acquaintance (40.0%) (Figure 3.4). Nearly one-fifth of male victims (19.0%) reported stalking by a stranger and 5.3% reported being stalked by a family member.
Sex of Perpetrator in Lifetime Reports of Stalking Victimization
Among female stalking victims, 82.5% reported being stalked by only male perpetrators in their lifetime; 8.8% reported only female perpetrators; and 4.6% reported having been stalked by both male and female perpetrators (data not shown).
Among male stalking victims, almost half (44.3%) reported being stalked by only male perpetrators while a similar proportion (46.7%) reported being stalked by only female perpetrators. About 1 in 18 male stalking victims (5.5%) reported having been stalked by both male and female perpetrators in his life (data not shown).