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To investigate the problems of the victimisation of stalking.

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Introduction

Tracey Lowe. Sociology of Victimisation. Title: To investigate the problems of the victimisation of stalking. Aims: The overall purpose of this report is to consider stalking from the perspective of the persons' whom are being victimised. 1. Objectives: i. Establish the nature and extent of stalking victimisation in Britain. ii. Look at the impact stalking has upon the victims. iii. Discuss the states response in recognising them as victims and dealing with the victim. iv. Look at the response from other non-state organisations that the victim may become into contact with. Introduction. The report endeavours to understand the problems of stalking in relation to the victim, it intends to understand all the responses to stalking from the perspective of the victim, from the recognition of stalking as a crime against the victim to the response of the state in protecting the victim. Stalking is not a legal term in England and Wales, and the effect of this on the persons' definition of whether they perceive themselves to be a victim of crime or not will be looked at. Method. This research report will mainly focus upon the findings of the self-completion questionnaire that was carried out by the 1998 British crime survey to find out the extent and nature of stalking, as it is the only national survey ever conducted in England and Wales. A further questionnaire was circulated in 2001 but the results are yet to be published. The British Crime Survey used the definition "persistent and unwanted attention" to describe stalking. ...read more.

Middle

The following were found to be the most common, * Forced into talking to the offender 49% * Silent phone calls 45% * Being physically intimidated 42% * Being followed 39% * Being touched or grabbed 34% * The offender waiting outside the victims home 33% Sheridan found a higher percentage of the type of behaviour towards the victim was being watched (81%) although approaches and tries to speak to the victim were also high at 63%. The nature of stalking differs between men and women victims, the survey found men were more likely to be threatened or had experienced violent behaviour against them and a higher percentage were subject to silent phone calls. Women were found to be more likely than men to be forced into talking to their offender. (Budd 2000) The types of victimisation found in England and Wales is similar to the victimisation found by researchers in other countries, for example Hall (1998) surveyed 145 stalking victims in the USA finding common types of victimisation including telephoning, unwanted gifts and so on. The issues this raises in relation to the victim is that other common types of unwanted behaviour, may not have been noted by the victim as they do not perceive it as stalking or they may feel foolish. Impact on the victim. Victims were affected in a number of ways as a result of their victimisation. The British Crime Survey looked at the impact on victims in terms of emotional impact, lifestyle impact, fears of further victimisation, and then comparing victims' and non-victims concerns. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the Sheridan et al study only one person thought support was sufficient. In the British Crime Survey 37% of victims thought their ordeal was wrong but not a crime, this could be the consequence of inadequate support agencies. For example there are various leaflets about offering support and advise for victims of rape or domestic violence, but during my research I was unable to find one that offered support to victims of stalking. The National association, Victim Support, supports victims of stalking but this is not advertised. 72% told a friend, relative or neighbour, whilst only 8% confided in a doctor. Conclusion. The findings of this research report on stalking victimisation are that there is not enough evidence about the crime to really understand the nature of the crimes against the victim. Although stalking is a relatively new crime in the sense that it is prosecutable, not enough is being done to help the victim. Research has shown a little about the impact of stalking on the victim, but the research has done little to help the victims. There has been no issue of making the public [possible victims] aware that stalking behaviour is a criminal offence and this is having implications upon the victim, in that they are not demanding protection. In the national criminal statistics "stalking" is under harassment and even those arrested under the Acts implemented to combat stalking, it can not be clear whether those arrested have been for stalking behaviour. ...read more.

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