Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term stalking refers to the crime of following and harassing another person against his or her wishes. In popular culture, a would-be lover who follows, spies on, and persistently pursues another, refusing to take “No” for an answer, has often been depicted as a romantic or comic figure. However, the identification in recent years of stalking as a crime has recast such activities in a sinister light. The stalker is now regarded as a criminal, and the person being stalked, a victim. The focus has shifted to the terror felt by the victim and the potential for stalking to end in deadly violence. The status of stalking as a criminal offense is relatively new, and much remains to be learned about patterns of stalking and their consequences, and about the effectiveness of antistalking policies. Stalking emerged as a crime in the early 1990s. The behaviors that are now called ...