Almost all stalkers have some type of mental or emotional problem.
Stalkers will go across town, country, or even to different continents in order
to continue their stalking. Stable people simply do not continue, often in the
face of years of rejection, to pursue someone.
Simple Obsession Stalkers
stalkers have previously been involved in an intimate relationship with their
victims. Often the victim has attempted to call off the relationship but the
stalker simply refuses to accept it. These stalkers suffer from personality
disorders, including being emotionally immature, extremely jealous, insecure,
have low self-esteem and quite often feel powerless without the relationship.
reconciliation is the goal, this stalker believes they must have a specific
person back or they will not survive.
stalker of former spouses or intimate partners, are often domineering and
abusive to their partners during the relationship and use this domination as a
way to bolster their own low self esteem. The control the abusers exert over
their partners gives them a feeling of power they can't find elsewhere. They try
to control every aspect of their partner's lives. Their worst fear is losing
people over whom they have control.
realize this fear as the relationship finally does end, the stalker suddenly
believes that his/her life is destroyed. Their total identity and feelings of
self-worth are tied up in the power experienced through their domineering and
abusive relationship. Without this control, they feel that they will have no
self-worth and no identity. They will become nobodies and in desperation they
begin stalking, trying to regain their partner and the basis of their power.
It is this
total dependence on their partner for identity and feelings of self worth that
makes these stalkers so very dangerous. They will often go to any length and
stop at nothing to get their partner back. If they can't have the people over
whom they can exert dominance and total control, their lives are truly not worth
living. Unfortunately, along with becoming suicidal, they also often want to
kill the intimate partner who have left them.
does not always begin with violence or trying to terrorize, it usually starts
with, "Can I just talk to you or meet with you one last time?" " If you just
talk to me I'll leave you alone." According to experts, "He wants her back, and
she won't come back." Everything escalates from there and sometimes he snaps and
assaults or kills her. In his mind, he makes the decision, "If I can't have you,
no one else will." When he says this, he is attempting to cover his fear that
she'll meet another man and leave him. Far too often, the police find that
these stalkers follow through on their threats, killing the victims and then
many times committing suicide. For them, death is better than having to face
humiliation of the stalking victim leaving them for someone else, and the
humiliation of having to face their own powerlessness.
individuals who become obsessed with or fixed on a person with whom they have
had no intimate or close relationship. The victim may be a friend, a business
acquaintance, a person met only once, or even a complete stranger.
obsession stalkers believe that a special, often mystical, relationship exists
between them and their victims. Any contact with the victim becomes a positive
reinforcement of this relationship and any wavering (even the slightest) of the
victim from an absolute "NO" is seen as an invitation to continue the pursuit.
stalkers will often read sexual meanings into neutral responses from the
victim. They are often loners with an emotional void in their lives. Any
contact with the object of the infatuation, even negative, helps fill this
void. Failed relationships are the rule among these individuals.
suffer from erotomania. They have the delusion that they are loved intensely by
another person, usually a person of higher socioeconomic status than them or an
unattainable public figure. They are totally convinced that the stalking victim
loves them dearly and truly, and would return their affection except for some
questioning, police find that most love obsession stalkers have fantasized a
complete relationship with the person they are stalking. When they attempt to
act out this fantasy in real life, they expect the victim to return the
affection. When no affection is returned, the stalker often reacts with threats
and intimidation. When the threats and intimidation don't accomplish what they
hoped, the stalker can often become violent and even deadly.
stalkers harass their victim not out of love but out of hate. Occasionally,
stalking becomes a method of revenge for some misdeed against the stalker, real
or imagined. Stalking can also be used as a means of protest. This is the
smallest group, but this type of stalking, for revenge and protest, can be
especially dangerous. There have been several killings by stalkers at abortion
clinics, and mass murders around the country by employees who have been fired
and then returned to stalk and eventually kill those who have fired them.
relationship ends, this group of stalkers, fearing they will lose their identity
and self-worth, often become desperate to re-establish the dominance and control
they wielded during the relationship. If they find this isn't possible they can
become suicidal, homicidal or both. According to the Bureau of Justice
Statistics report Female Victims of Violent Crime, in 29 % of all violence
against women by a lone offender the perpetrator was an intimate. Women are
about seven times more likely than men to experience violence committed by an
intimate, and female victims of violence by an intimate are more often injured
seriously enough to require medical attention than are females victimized by a
stranger. Intimate partner stalking can end in much worse than just injury. It
can end in death if the stalkers cannot regain the control they so intensely and
intimate partner stalkers who have spent years dominating and controlling their
partner simply cannot face the prospect that the people they've controlled for
so long have successfully gotten away -- have proven themselves stronger than
the stalkers. One former stalker wrote in his diary, "I couldn't live with
myself thinking or knowing she had won, or she got me. No! This is war."
Tragically his victim was murdered.
to Linden Gross in her book To Have or to Harm, "We all have problems with
rejection, especially if we're emotionally invested in a relationship. For the
majority of us, however, rejection doesn't imply devastation. Even though the
pain, however excruciating, our identities stay intact, our sense of self-worth
bruised, perhaps, but still operational. This isn't so, however, for intimate
partner stalkers. Because of their need for total control over someone, when
the relationship breaks up their world is devastated. Their personality
disorders won't allow them to accept rejection."
kind of stalker may or may not have psychological disorders, all clearly have
personality disorders. A few of these personality disorders, according to the
1. Socially maladjusted and inept
2. Emotionally immature
3. Often subject to feeling of powerlessness
4. Unable to succeed in relationship by socially acceptable means
5. Jealousy bordering paranoia
6. Extremely insecure about themselves
Often suffering from low self esteem
to experts, intimate partner stalkers can be the most dangerous types of stalker
because they often have a history of violence against their victim, and
consequently feel totally uninhibited about using more or heightened violence in
an effort to get them back. The stalkers know that violence has worked for them
in the past, and so they have no reason to believe that it won't work again.
Also, intimate partner stalkers know their victim well: their family, their
place of employment, their recreational activities, and so forth. They know
where to find their victim.
partner stalkers, because of the dominance and control once held over their
victim, often have the mind set that the victim is their property, to do with as
they wish, and to reclaim in any way they see fit. And, believing that their
lives won't be worth living if they can't recapture the victim as their
property, they often feel they have nothing to lose by using extreme measures.
Consequently, these stalkers feel totally justified in doing just about anything
in an effort to regain control over the victim. Since the stalker believes the
victim belongs to them, they show no regard for restraining orders, and may
instead be infuriated by them, feeling they are being denied their God-given
best sums it up. "When you know a person is capable of anything, and he also
feels he has nothing to lose, you'd better be scared of him. He'll kill you."
have now found that intimate partner stalking often follows a three-phase cycle.
One - The Tension
include such things as making hundreds of telephone calls and sending dozens of
letters, showing up wherever the victim is, casual surveillance of the victim,
and following the victim wherever they go. However, when these actions don't
accomplish what the stalker wants, the tension builds, and eventually the
stalker may begin making threats, vandalizing property, and instituting more
forceful attempts to make the victim give in to their demands.
- The Violence Phase
stalker realizes that their efforts in the first phase have failed, they often
resort to violence against not only the victim but also the victim's friends,
family and often times co-workers. This can include angry face-to-face
confrontations, physical assaults (including rape), kidnapping, and in extreme
Three - The Hearts and Flowers Phase
stalker reverts back to the less violent tactics, and will often either beg
forgiveness for the violence or appear to abandon the stalking altogether.
Unfortunately, any cessation is usually only temporary. This pause in the
stalking can actually be an extremely dangerous period because many times the
victim falsely believes that the nightmare is over, and consequently lets down
his/her guard. They then can be caught unprepared and unprotected when the
stalking suddenly begins again, often violently.
important point for a victim or potential victim of intimate partner stalking to
remember about this cycle of stalking is that it is not uniform or predictable.
Stalkers can move through the phases fairly rapidly, at times changing from
being loving to brutal in only seconds. For other stalkers, it may take years to
move from one phase to another, and some may never move out of the first phase.
Most important, because a stalker may cycle from being a minor nuisance to a
physical threat extremely rapidly, intimate partner stalking victims must always
be on guard.
partner stalkers are typically known as the guy who "just can't let go." These
are most often men who refuse to believe that a relationship has really ended.
Often, other people - even the victims - feel sorry for them. But they
shouldn't. Studies show that the vast majority of these stalkers are not
sympathetic, lonely people who are still hopelessly in love but were in fact
emotionally abusive and controlling during the relationship. Many have criminal
histories unrelated to stalking. Well over half of stalkers fall into this
"former intimate partner" category.
these types of cases, the victim may, unwittingly encourage the stalker by
trying to "let him down easy," or agreeing to talk to him or meet with him just
one more time. Victims need to
understand that there is no reasoning with a stalker. Just the
fact that stalking - an unreasonable activity - has already begun illustrates
this fact. When the victim says, "I don't want a relationship now", the stalker
hears, "She'll want me again tomorrow." When she says, "I just need some
space," he hears, "If I just let her go out with her friends, she'll come
back." "It's just not working out," is heard as "We can make it work
blatant words, the only thing to say to the stalker is "NO".
give explanations, do not give time limits and do not give the stalker any room
victim you should say "NO" once and only once. And then, never say anything to
him/her again. If a stalker
have his victim's love, he'll take his/her hatred or her fear. The worst thing
in the world for the stalker is to be ignored. Example: "Think of a small
child. If they are not getting the attention they want, they will act out and
misbehave because even negative attention is better than none at all." Former
intimate partner stalkers have their entire sense of self-worth caught up in the
fact that, "she loves me." Therefore, any evidence to the contrary is seen as
merely an inconvenience to overcome. Since giving up the victim means giving up
the stalkers self-worth, they are very unlikely to do so. Say "NO" only once -
Don't help the stalker hang on.