Presentation on theme: "Stalking: Living in the Shadow of Fear. “I wake up every morning, wondering if this is the day I will die at the hands of my stalker. I spend the day."— Presentation transcript:
Stalking: Living in the Shadow of Fear
“I wake up every morning, wondering if this is the day I will die at the hands of my stalker. I spend the day looking over my shoulder for him. I jump every time the phone rings. I can’t sleep at night from worrying. When I do sleep, I have nightmares of him. I can’t escape him for a minute. I never have a moment’s peace awake or asleep.” — A Stalking Victim
Common Stalking Behaviors Follow and show up wherever victim is. Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or s. Damage victim’s property. Monitor phone calls or computer use. Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track victims. Drive by or hang out at victim’s home, school, or work.
Common Stalking Behaviors Threaten to hurt victim or victim’s family, friends, or pets. Find out about victim by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co- workers. Posting information or spreading rumors on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
Stalking Victimization 3.4 million people over the age of 18 are stalked each year in the United States. 3 in 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. 30% of stalking victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner. 1 in 4 victims report being stalked through the use of some form of technology (such as or instant messaging). Katrina Baum et al., (2009). "Stalking Victimization in the United States," (Washington, DC:BJS, 2009).
The Promise of the Internet: “Youthful, fun-loving SWM into classical music, long walks on the beach, and cuddling in front of the fire seeking that special SWF that wants to be treated as the princess she is.”
Awful Truth About the Internet
Impact of Stalking on Victims 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next. 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop. 1 in 8 employed stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization and more than half lose 5 days of work or more. 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization. [Baum et al., (2009). "Stalking Victimization in the United States." BJS.]
Stalkers 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method. 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach. Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases. Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before. Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly. Kris Mohandie et al., "The RECON Typology of Stalking: Reliability and Validity Based upon a Large Sample of North American Stalkers," Journal of Forensic Sciences 51, no. 1 (2006).]
Stalking -> Homicide 76% of intimate partner female homicide victims have been stalked by their intimate partner. 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner. 54% of female homicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers. Judith McFarlane et al., "Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide," Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999).]
What do These Statistics Tell Us? There is a very big connection between DV & stalking. Also connection between stalking and Sexual Assault. Stalking is a huge risk factor for homicide. Stalking affects millions of people.
Stalking is a Red Flag for Homicide While not all stalking perpetrators kill, most perpetrators of domestic abuse who kill, have stalked their victims.
Relationship Between the Stalker and the Victim
Stalking Law – Four Elements
Stalking Law D intentionally engaged in a course of conduct directed at V. 2.The course of conduct would have caused a reasonable person [to suffer emotional distress] [to fear bodily injury or death to (himself) (herself) (a member of (his) (her) (family) (household))].
Stalking Law 3.D’s acts [caused V to suffer serious emotional distress] [induced fear in V of bodily injury or death to (himself) (herself) (a member of (his) (her) (family) (household))]. 4.D knew or should have known that at least on of the acts constituting the course of conduct would [caused V to suffer serious emotional distress] [induced fear in V of bodily injury or death to (himself) (herself) (a member of (his) (her) (family) (household))].
Stalking Law What Does it Mean??
Definition: Course of Conduct (1)(a) “course of conduct” means a series of 2 or more acts carried out over a period of time, however short or long, that show a continuity of purpose, including the following:
Definition: Course of Conduct 1. Maintaining visual or physical proximity to the victim. 2. Approaching or confronting the victim. 3. Appearing at the victim’s workplace or contacting the victim’s employer or coworkers. 4. Appearing at the victim’s home or contacting the victim’s neighbors.
Definition: Course of Conduct 5. Entering property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim. 6. Contacting the victim by telephone or causing the victim’s telephone or any other person’s telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously, regardless of whether a conversation ensues.
Definition: Course of Conduct 6m Photographing, videotaping, audiotaping, or, through any other electronic means, monitoring or recording the activities of the victim, regardless of where the act occurs;
Definition: Course of Conduct 7. Sending material by any means to the victim or, for the purpose of obtaining information about, disseminating information about, or communicating with the victim, to a member or the victim’s family or household or an employer, coworker, or friend of the victim. 8. Placing an object on or delivering an object to property owned, leased or occupied by the victim.
Definition: Course of Conduct 9. Delivering an object to a member of the victim’s family or household or an employer, coworker, or friend of the victim or placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by such person with the intent that the object be delivered to the victim. 10. Causing a person to engage in any of the acts described in subsections 1 – 9.
WHAT IF 1 – 9 IS ALSO ANOTHER CRIME? It is not required that the acts constituting the course of conduct be a crime in themselves for them to be charged as part of stalking; But if they are crimes, they can be charged in addition to stalking.
Course of Conduct Two Acts—Continuity of Purpose Need not act over a specific period of time!
State v. Eichorn, 2010 WL Stranger case: Defendant, 66. years old, drove up to bus stop, rolled down his passenger-side window D asked 17 year old victim if he could give her a ride D told victim five times that he wanted to take her home. He followed the bus and made contact again.
State v. Eichorn, 2010 WL “there is no temporal limitation to “course of conduct” course of conduct in less than 15 minutes
Need to Document FEAR Since stalking statutes criminalize what otherwise would be legitimate behavior based upon the fact that the behavior induces fear, the level of fear induced in a stalking victim is a crucial element of the stalking offense
Venue VENUE—2 or more acts means that so long as ONE is in your county, that’s enough to give your county jurisdiction. See (2), where a crime which requires 2 or more acts to commit can be prosecuted in any county in which one of the acts occurred.
Definitions: Member of Family and Member of a Household (cb) Member of a family means a spouse, parent, child sibling or any other person who is related by blood or adoption to another. (cd) Member of a household means a person who regularly resides in the household of another or who with the previous 6 months regularly resided in the household of another.
Definition: Severe Emotional Distress Suffer Severe emotional distress : means to feel terrified, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or tormented. Does not require treatment from a mental health professional.
No Contact Orders 72 no contact bail condition probation or extended supervision condition restraining order or injunction order family court order Stalking warning letter
The Investigation Treat seriously—high lethality potential Educate Victim What is stalking Different kinds of threats That pattern will not end with police investigation Get facts first, then approach fear issue. Victim may be less fearful than needs to be and more annoyed. Can you guarantee safety?
The Investigation Collect all notes, gifts, message tapes from victim Enlist victim in collecting evidence log, including how contact made victim feel and for how long Screen calls Answering machine tapes Have victim report all contacts
The Investigation Interview Victim Series of events so victim may need time to think and process Most recent, worst, what was the first behavior, etc. How did suspect meet victim How to locate suspect Prior relationships (other victims) No false promises to victims: Can you guarantee safety?
The Investigation If victim feels it is not safe to get TRO, explore reasons. Victim may be right. If suspect is at large, ask victim for a photo Discourage victim form any contact with the suspect. Any contact is good contact to the stalker
The Investigation Interview victim about suspect’s…… Family members Best friends Hangouts Employment, past employers Vehicles, storage lockers, Post office boxes, addresses, cell phone #’s, pagers, and any previous addresses Financial information such as credit and banking cards for tracking purposes
The Investigation Always do a search warrant Look for evidence of obsession Shrines in home or work Evidence of criminal behavior Journals or diaries of victim and/or other family members
The Investigation If no violation, contact the stalker and advise of consequences Conduct surveillance if high risk lethality Apprehend for EVERY violation Visit each crime scene (photograph, measure, video, diagram) Make presentation to DA
The Investigation Advise Judge of past activities and request high bonds Anticipate every case will be taken to trial by the stalker and prepare victim
Questions for the Victim Has the suspect ever threatened you? Has the suspect ever attempted to assault or assaulted you? Has the suspect ever threatened or been physically violent with someone other than you ? Has the suspect committed any other violent act? Do you ever initiate contact with the suspect? For What reason?
Preparing the victim for future incidents Inform all of the neighbors, co-workers, receptionist, and the security staff where you live or work. Prepare them for the possibility that the stalker may look for you there and ask them to support you. Do the same with the key people in the organizations to which you may belong. The moment the stalker shows up in a work or social setting is not the time to explain the situation to everyone. Consider getting a cell phone. Do not keep secrets about the stalker or his activities. Report every encounter to someone immediately
Preparing the victim for future incidents Seek support from people who understand. Avoid people who minimize the problem and tell you that you are overreacting. Do workouts with a buddy if you jog or go work out a club. (This will make the victim feel safer and will also provide a witness if the stalker approaches them. Don’t walk alone or jog at night. Ask security for escorts to car if necessary. Alternate secure or close parking arrangements if possible. If the victim is an employee, provide copy of RO to supervisor, provide picture. Emergency contact person if employer is unable to contact the employee. Safety in the workplace is big consideration.
Victim Issues Experts suggest that where the offender is known the victim should send a clear written warning, CEASE- UNWANTED Under no circumstances should they continue to communicate with the stalker Victim should save all communications, record dates and times, s etc. Victim may wish to file a complaint with their ISP and or Stalkers ISP (if cyberstalking)
Victim Issues cont. Victim may wish to change ISP, look into privacy programs Victim should seek help/support from family/friends and law enforcement. Safety planning: before criminal charges are brought, at arraignment, pending trial, after trial or disposition.
Creating a Safety Plan o Safety planning can be complex, it is helpful to enlist the assistance of a trained advocate and reach out to other resources o Don’t underestimate the stalker’s potential for violence o A victim who knows the stalker is the true expert on her safety
Safety Plan Advice for Victims o Do not attempt to communicate with the stalker o If you are being followed, go to a safe, public area (police station)- don’t go home o Get a new, unlisted phone number and use an answering machine o Try to travel in a group or with friends
Safety Plan Advice for Victims o When going to your car ask co-workers to walk you there or watch you safely get in o Lock all doors and windows in your car and house, even if you are inside o Keep a Stalking Log- save all evidence o Report stalking to the police
SUPREME COURT OF WISCONSIN CASE NO.: 2008AP658-CR State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Michael A. Sveum, Defendant-Appellant- Petitioner. REVIEW OF A DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS 2009 WI App 81 Reported at: 319 Wis. 2d 498, 769 N.W.2d 53 (Ct. App Published) OPINION FILED: July 20, 2010
Using a GPS Stalking the Stalker “The officers entered the driveway to install the GPS device in Sveum's vehicle. Installation was achieved simply, by attaching the device with magnets and tape to the vehicle's undercarriage. Maintenance of the GPS device included replacing the device twice, due to its limited battery life. Both replacement devices were installed in the same manner as the first. After monitoring Sveum's vehicle for 35 days, the officers removed the GPS device. Execution in this manner stayed well within the confines of the authority granted by the Order…”
Using a GPS Stalking the Stalker Additionally, "[t]here is no indication that [law enforcement's] intrusion went beyond what was necessary to install and remove the equipment." Indeed, the officers did not enter any building, including Sveum's home, nor did they access the passenger compartment or the trunk of the vehicle during installation, maintenance and removal of the GPS device. Additionally, the officers replaced the GPS devices only as was necessary and in the same minimally intrusive manner as the initial installation.
Using a GPS Stalking the Stalker We similarly conclude that the complex, ongoing nature of stalking justified the 35 days of GPS surveillance on a single search warrant Evidence sufficient to demonstrate Sveum's stalking required…data demonstrating Sveum engaged in "a series of 2 or more acts carried out over time," inducing Johnson to fear bodily injury or death..
Using a GPS Stalking the Stalker A search obtaining this type of evidence could not have been completed in a single day. Moreover, the daily, continuous monitoring of the GPS device on Sveum's vehicle "were not separate searches requiring separate warrants, but instead were simply reasonable continuations of the original search." Accordingly, the officers were not required to obtain additional search warrants for each day the GPS monitoring continued.
Sample Stalking Warning Letter The Madison Police Department has recently investigated a complaint about your behavior toward the above-named individual. The behavior you have engaged in could be interpreted as “stalking” as defined by WI State Statute Stalking can be described as intentionally engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person under the same circumstances to suffer serious emotional distress, or place the specific person in reasonable fear of bodily injury. Your behavior has induced such fear or distress in the above named individual. The Wisconsin law makes stalking a crime. The Madison Police Department takes this law very seriously. Please consider this a formal warning that any future stalking behavior done by you towards the above named individual could result in arrest by law enforcement and prosecution by the Dane County District Attorney’s Office.