Stalking in the United States

BackgroundStalking is a major public health concern, primarily for women, and is associated with many adverse health outcomes, including death. However, the prevalence of stalking among adults in the United States has not been assessed since 1995-1996. The objective of this analysis is to provide more recent national estimates on lifetime stalking and demographic characteristics of stalking victims.MethodsA sample of adults aged 18 years and older living in the United States (n =9684) participated in the second Injury Control and Risk Survey (ICARIS-2), a cross-sectional, random-digit-dial telephone survey conducted from 2001 to 2003. Analyses conducted in 2005 focused on the respondents' reports of having ever been stalked in a way that was somewhat dangerous or life-threatening.ResultsIn the United States, 4.5% of adults reported having ever been stalked. Women had significantly higher prevalence (7%) of stalking victimization than did men (2%) (odds ratio [OR]=3.68, 95% confidence interval [CI]=2.77-4.90). People who were never married (OR=1.43, 95%CI=1.03-1.99) or who were separated, widowed, or divorced (OR=1.68, 95% CI=1.28-2.21) had significantly higher odds of being stalked than those who were married or had a partner. People aged 55 years or older and those who were retired were least likely to report stalking victimization.ConclusionsComparable to previous national estimates, this study shows that stalking affects many adults. Nearly 1 in 22 adults (almost 10 million, approximately 80% of whom were women) in the United States were stalked at some time in their lives
Author: 
Basile
Swahn
Chen
Saltzman
Reprint Status: 
IN FILE
Start Page: 
172
End Page: 
175
Journal/Periodical Name: 
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume: 
31
Issue: 
2
Abstract: 
Researchers analyzed data from the second national Injury Control and Risk Survey (ICARIS-2; N=9684). Respondents were considered victims of stalking if they had been followed and described the experience as somewhat dangerous or life-threatening. Based on this definition, an estimated 7 million women and 2 million men in the United States have been stalked. Significant factors associated with having been stalked included being female, white, not married or living as a couple, being employed, and being less than 55 years old. The authors recommended research to develop prevention interventions that can be used jointly by criminal justice and public health to reduce the prevalence of stalking and provide services to victims. Limitations of the study included lack of information on the relationship of the stalker to the victim. Description of stalking was limited to two questions, and stalking tactics used were not assessed
Topic Areas: 
Prevalence; stalking
Reference Type: 
ABST
Reference ID: 
2411
Publication Date: 
2006/08