Stalking is pervasive. Every day, victims suffer immeasurable fear and distress over repeated, unwanted, and threatening conduct directed at them by their stalkers. Despite the frequency of stalking and its profound impact on victims, offenders are rarely held accountable by the criminal justice system. Many reports from victims — to family, friends, and law enforcement — are only taken seriously once stalkers escalate their behaviors and cause significant property damage, physical harm, or death. Sometimes, even victims themselves are unable to identify stalking behaviors, largely due to narrow societal and media depictions of what constitutes stalking.
In this webinar, participants are challenged to adopt a new paradigm of offender behavior. By viewing an offender’s conduct against a victim through a holistic—rather than episodic—lens, participants learn how stalking charges can provide the critical link between seemingly isolated instances. After discussing common stalking behaviors, which go far beyond pop culture stereotypes, presenters discuss how criminal justice system actors and allied professionals can enhance their response, including methods for investigating and prosecuting stalking offenses. Instead of considering stalking crimes to be too complex or as an afterthought to other offenses, participants will view these charges as key to holding offenders accountable for the full scope of their criminality.
At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:
-Identify stalking offenses and dynamics
-Enhance the investigation and prosecution of stalking, both as a stand-alone offense and as a co-occurring offense
-Increase the safety of stalking victims
This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-21-GK-02220-MUMU and Grant No. Grant No. 2017-TA-AX-K074, both awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.