Factors associated with stalking persistence
The longer stalking persists, the more damaging its effects. Despite this, little research has explored factors associated with stalking persistence, making it difficult to drive strategies that encourage desistance. This study examined risk factors associated with persistence in a sample of 637 participants from Brisbane (Australia) classified as ex-intimate stalkers. A self-report perpetration questionnaire was used to measure stalking duration (low/moderate/high) and risk factors for persistence. Findings identified marked differences in the nature of risk factors for moderate (1–12 months) as opposed to high persistence (>1 year). Ex-intimate stalkers were more likely to be moderately persistent (versus low and high persistence) if they had higher attachment anxiety, amorous motives, constantly ruminated about the victim and were feeling hurt. Ex-intimate stalkers were more likely to be highly persistent (versus low and moderate persistence) if they were aged over 30, had some tertiary education, had higher attachment avoidance, did not have amorous motives, wanted to frighten/hurt the victim and felt angry. Feeling suicidal and/or unable to cope was associated with both moderate and high persistence. Findings suggest it is crucial to differentiate risk factors for moderate and high persistence. Furthermore, ex-intimate stalking that persists the longest may be the most malicious.
Psychology, Crime & Law
Causes and Prevention of Crime