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Journal Article


Podana Z, Imríšková R. J. Interpers. Violence 2016; 31(5): 792-809.


Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.


(Copyright © 2016, SAGE Publishing)






Fear for the stalking victim's own safety or the safety of people close to them is of primary research interest due to the fact that fear is often required as a necessary condition for repetitive intrusive behavior to be defined as stalking. This study examines factors that increase levels of fear in stalking victims and analyzes their coping strategies, making use of data from a victimization survey among citizens of the Czech Republic (N = 2,503). Overall, 147 stalking victims were identified in the sample.

RESULTS show that female victims, those stalked by male offenders, and victims pursued over a long period of time, are most fearful. Higher levels of fear are elicited by strangers as opposed to partners or acquaintances. Among stalking practices, only direct aggression is significantly associated with fear, whereas monitoring the victim (comprising typical stalking behavior such as following the victim) increases the perception of the seriousness of stalking, but does not influence the victim's fear. In addition, three behavioral coping strategies have been identified: proactive behavior (47% of victims), avoidance (30%), and passivity (23%). The examination of the association between these coping strategies and victims' fear reveals that female victims, whose behavior is proactive, express higher levels of fear than male victims and than those choosing avoidance or passivity strategies. Overall, the study confirms gender differences in both the level of fear and coping strategies, and lends further support to appeals for eliminating the fear requirement from the stalking definition.

Language: en


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