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Stalking and Counter Stalking. Realities of VAW Crimes Commonly missed crimes in the context of violence against women Stalking Intimate partner sexual.

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Presentation on theme: "Stalking and Counter Stalking. Realities of VAW Crimes Commonly missed crimes in the context of violence against women Stalking Intimate partner sexual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stalking and Counter Stalking

2 Realities of VAW Crimes Commonly missed crimes in the context of violence against women Stalking Intimate partner sexual assault Strangulation Felony threats Weapons violations Kidnapping RC/MW

3 Creating An effective Stalking Protocol Help for Victims – Free brochure Stalking Laws Stalking Court Cases Statistics Resources Publications –

4 National Network to End Domestic Violence 2001 S Street, NW Suite 400 Washington DC Safety Net: the National Safe and Strategic Technology Project

5 National Crime Victimization Survey Stalking Victimization in the United States 2009 The survey measured the following stalking behaviors Making unwanted phone calls Sending unsolicited letters or s Following or spying on the victim Showing at places with no legitimate reason Waiting at places for the victim Leaving unwanted items - present – flowers Posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, a public place, or by word of mouth.

6 National Crime Victimization Survey Stalking Victimization in the United States 2009 During a 12 month period an estimated 14 in every 1,000 persons age 18 or older were victims of stalking – 3.4 million victims About half (46%) of stalking victims experienced at least one unwanted contact per week, and 11% of victims said they had been stalked for 5 years or more. The risk of stalking victimimization was highest for individuals who were separated or divorced – 34 per 1,000 individuals. Women were at greater risk than men for stalking victimization: however, women and men are equally likely to experience harassment.

7 National Crime Victimization Survey Stalking Victimization in the United States 2009 To place this estimate in perspective there were about 5.2 million violent crimes - rape/sexual assault, robbery aggravated assault, and simple assault committed in National Crime Victimization Survey – US Dept of Justice – Bureau of Justice Statistics

8 National Crime Victimization Survey Stalking Victimization in the United States 2009 Male (37%) and female (41%) stalking victimizations were equally likely to reported to the police. Approximately 1 in 4 stalking victims reported some form of cyber stalking such as (83%) or instant messaging (35%) 46% of stalking victims felt fear of not knowing what would happen next Nearly 3 in 4 stalking victims knew their offender in some capacity. 29% of stalking victims reported the offender waited in places for them National Crime Victimization Survey – US Dept of Justice – Bureau of Justice Statistics

9 National Crime Victimization Survey Stalking Victimization in the United States 2009 Males were as likely to report being stalked by a male as a female offender. 43 % of males stalking victims stated that the offender was a female, while 41 % reported the offender was male. Female victims of stalking were significantly more likely to be stalked by a male (67%) rather than a female (24%)

10 National Crime Victimization Survey Stalking Victimization in the United States 2009 Nearly a quarter of victims stated that they had been stalked at least once a day (16%) More than 1 in 4 stalking victims had reported some sort of cyber stalking was used – , instant message. Electronic monitoring was used in 1 in 13 victims. Video or digital cameras were likely as listening devices or bugs to be used to electronically monitor victims – GPS used in about 10%.

11 National Crime Victimization Survey Stalking Victimization in the United States 2009 One in seven reported they moved because of the stalking The reason the stalking stop – highest perceived reason – the police warned the stalker– (15.6%) about a tenth believed the stalking stopped when they obtained a protective or restraining order 130,000 reported that they had been fired or asked to leave their job Stalking offenders committed identity theft against 204,000 victims

12 National Crime Victimization Survey Stalking Victimization in the United States 2009 About 40% reported that they had notified police once regarding the stalking, while 3% contacted the police in excess of 15 times. 20% reported the police took no action

13 National Crime Victimization Survey Stalking Victimization in the United States 2009 Stalking unlike most crimes because a course of conduct designed to create fear in another person does not necessarily require that the victim to come in contact with the offender About a tenth of all victims were stalked by a stranger 36% of the victims reported the offender had some previous interaction with law enforcement Cyber stalking and electronic monitoring

14 Domestic Violence and Stalking 81% of stalking victims who were stalked by an intimate partner reported that they had also been physically assaulted by that partner. 31% were also sexually assaulted by that partner National Violence Against Women Survey -2000

15 Statistics on Stalking Victims in 69% of female homicide cases were stalked while in a relationship with their stalker Victims in 88% of female homicide cases were stalked after the relationship ended National Violence Against Women Survey -2000

16 The Use of Technology to Stalk

17 What is Stalking? Stalking general refers to repeated harassing or threatening behavior putting another person in fear. Examples?

18 The next phase in the violent relationship.

19 Stalking Can seemingly non-threatening behavior be stalking? Can non-criminal acts be stalking?

20 The next phase in the violent relationship.

21 Reporting By the time victims report to police, the stalking behavior has been well established and … victim countermeasures have failed. Klein et al., (2009) A statewide Study of Stalking and Its Criminal Justice Response

22 Are these a threat?

23 Context is Everything The Criminal Justice System is by design and necessity, incident focused What is the intent of the offender? What is the meaning of the act to the victim? What is the effect of the violence on the victim? What is the context of any given act of violence? Consider the particulars, how much violence, coercion or intimidation accompanying the violence

24 Recognizing The Stalking Case Any time a victim reports any type of harassing behavior responding officers/advocates should be thinking about the possibility of stalking.

25 Common harassing behaviors Vandalism Annoying or threatening phone calls Following or other violations of protective orders Actual assaults Sending unwanted letters Showing up at the victims home or work place

26 Common harassing behaviors Attempting to obtain private information about the victim from others Leaving gifts for the victim Disabling the victims car Taking mail from the victims mailbox Entering the victims home when the victim is not there Taking photographs of or spying on the victim Reporting the victim to authorities for crimes that did not occur

27 What About Stalking Can Make It Easy to Investigate? Stalking Is a Course of Conduct Ongoing Long-Term Same Victim Same Offender Same Locations Suspects often confess They want to tell how and why they are being misunderstood

28 Threat Assessment Develop a timeline of stalking events Look for escalation of threats letters Dead roses Threatening call Showed up at work Parked across street all night Cat poisoned 6/6/10 6/8/10 6/12/10 6/15/10 6/20/10 6/25/10

29 Threat Assessment More dangerous offenders: Actual pursuit Possession and/or fascination with weapons Vandalism, arson Tendency towards emotional outburst and rage History of violating POs

30 Intimate Partner Stalkers: Increased Risk for Victims More likely to physically approach victim More insulting, interfering and threatening More likely to use weapons Behaviors more likely to escalate quickly More likely to re-offend

31 Basic Concepts No single profile or type of violent stalker All stalkers are potentially dangerous The level of threat that a particular suspects poses is not fixed Many subjects who pose a high level of risk do not make threats Absence of communicated threats does not mean absence of risk People dont just snap !!!

32 What about stalking cases can make it Difficult to Investigate? Criminal acts in multiple jurisdictions On going crime with varying activity levels over several years May be hard to see whole pattern Few witnesses Little evidence Law Enforcement response can not guarantee it will stop

33 Why do they stalk? Rejection Obsession Power and Control Sexual Gratification (voyeurism) Planning to commit a crime (rapists)

34 POWER AND CONTROL USING COERCION AND THREATS USING ECONOMIC ABUSE USING MALE PRIVILEGE USING CHILDREN MINIMIZING DENYING AND BLAMING USING ISOLATION USING EMOTIONAL ABUSE USING INTIMIDATION Wynn Consulting 2007 Theft Fraud Forgery Vandalism, Animal Abuse, Destroying Property Stalking, Harassment, Assault, Strangulation False Imprisonment, Kidnapping, Custodial Interference Sex Assault Kidnapping, Child Neglect & Abuse Filing false reports, Protective Order Violation Simple Assault

35 Our response…. Law enforcement officers should be expected to investigate stalking crimes in a manner that restores the victims sense of control and decrease the victims anxiety. Safety planning with the victim Promising Practices: Law Enforcement Response U.S. D.O.J. 2001

36 Our response…. Working with stalking victims takes patience. Victims may downplay the seriousness of the behavior and it is your job to determine if a crime has been committed. It is a crime built on a series of actions, not one isolated incident, so the case must be built piece by piece like a puzzle. Therefore, documentation becomes the most important aspect of building the case.

37 Good Offense Report Documents stalkers repetitive behavior Creates articulation of victims fear, especially when stalkers behavior would appear non- threatening to most people Supports criminal charges (if filed) Can enhance encouragement for stalker to plead guilty

38 Building Probable Cause Police Generated Evidence Collection Surveillance Security Video Telephone Records Reports of Prior Acts Search Warrants Interview - Interrogation

39 Steps You Can Take Counter-Stalking: follow the stalker, preferably videotaping his movements in and around the victims place of employment, home, family, etc. Surveillance on victims home/work during hours she normally comes and goes -- videotape if possible. Follow the victim to school/work/daycare. Photograph all vandalism reported by the victim.

40 Stalking Policy Centre County Protocol For A Coordinated Law Enforcement Response to Stalking Centre County, Pennsylvania State of Minnesota Stalking Response Protocol

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42 Idaho Coalition Against Domestic Violence Counter-Stalking Kit

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44 Service Warning Sheet

45 Madison, Wisconsin Police Department Service of Warning Stalking Letter Specialized Investigative Reports

46 Order of Protection Registry

47 Spy Cams

48 Ghost Keys

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55 CROSSING STATE LINES Crossing state lines or entering or leaving Indian Country with intent to injure, harass or intimidate an intimate partner… …person intentionally commits crime of violence and causes bodily injury... – 18 USC §2261 (a)(1) Interstate Travel to commit Domestic Violence

56 CROSSING STATE LINES Intent to injure NOT required. Maximum penalty: Life in prison if victim dies 10 years if serious bodily injury or use of weapon 5 years for other crimes – 18 USC §2261 (a)(1)

57 INTERSTATE STALKING To cross a state line with the intent to kill, injure, harass or intimidate another person The defendant places the person in fear of death of or serious bodily injury to, that person or a member of the persons immediate family. Includes cyber stalking – course of conduct (2 or more acts) – 18 USC §2261 (a)

58 INTERSTATE TRAVEL TO VIOLATE AN ORDER OF PORTECTION To cross a state line with the intent to violate the portion of a valid protection order that prohibits or provides against violence, threats or harassment against, contact or communication with another person. – 18 USC §2262 (a)(1)

59 Reo Recommended reading: The Stalking of Kristin By George Lardner Book # - ISBN


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