Stalking Scotland - National Stalking Helpline

What is stalking?
 Obsessive fixated pursuit
 Mullen (1999) describes stalking as ‘ a constellation of behaviour’s in which an individual
inflicts upon another repeated unwanted intrusions and communications’. Intrusions
include making approaches, maintaining surveillance and gathering information.
What Effect does stalking have on a victim?
 Research by the University of Leicester and Lorraine Sheridan found that serious
financial and social losses were reported by many victims of stalking. Half changed their
telephone numbers, half gave up social activities, half saw their performance at work
affected, a third relocated. Others gave up friends and family, or changed identity.
 Hyper-vigilance
 Potential escalation to physical and sexual violence
Stalking: The facts
 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will be stalked at some point in their lives
 40% of victims are stalked by an ex partner, in many cases the partner would have
been emotionally or physically abusive during the relationship.
 Ex partner stalking cases carry the highest risk of escalation in to physical violence.
 On average a stalker will contact 21 people connected to the victim. This may
include family, friends, employer, neighbours, even the victim’s regular gym or
favourite café.
 It is becoming more common for stalkers to use technology like GPS on mobiles,
tracker devices or spyware on phones to locate a victim
 Stalking has been a criminal offence in Scotland since December 2010. Before this
there were no criminal laws that could deal with stalking in Scotland and
behaviour was often inadequately dealt with under Breach of the Peace.
Stalking Typology
Mullen and Pathé
Rejected Stalker - Rejected stalking arises in the context of the breakdown of a close
relationship. Victims are usually former sexual intimates.
Resentful Stalker - Resentful stalking arises when the stalker feels as though they have
been mistreated or that they are the victim of some form of injustice or humiliation.
Intimacy Seeker - Intimacy Seeking stalking arises out of a context of loneliness and a
lack of a close confidante. Frequently Intimacy Seeking stalkers’ behaviour is fuelled by a
severe mental illness involving delusional beliefs about the victim
Incompetent Suitor - The Incompetent Suitor stalks in the context of loneliness or lust
and targets strangers or acquaintances. Sometimes this insensitivity is associated with
cognitive limitations or poor social skills consequent to autism spectrum disorders or
intellectual disability.
Predatory Stalker - Predatory stalking arises in the context of deviant sexual practices
and interests. Perpetrators are usually male and victims are usually female strangers in
whom the stalker develops a sexual interest.
For more detailed information about these typologies and for training workshops visit the
Stalking Risk Profile website at
What is the law regarding
 Stalking is illegal and no one should have to endure it.
 The law in Scotland that deals with stalking is section 39 of the Criminal Justice
and Licensing Act 2010. This law says that an offence of stalking is committed
when a person engages in a course of conduct that they know, or ought to know
would be likely to cause another person to suffer fear or alarm.
 The law provides a non exhaustive list of behaviours that can be viewed as part
of a stalking course of conduct. This includes following a person, publishing
any statement or other material relating or purporting to relate to a person,
monitoring the use of a person by internet, loitering in any place (whether
public or private), contacting or attempting to contact a person by any means
and watching or spying on a person. For the full list see
 There are also civil remedies available such as seeking an interdict or a non
harassment order. These can be obtained against your current or expartner/spouse, their family members, or someone who is stalking or harassing
Stalking Risk Checklist
1. Are you very frightened?
2. Is there any previous domestic abuse and/or harassment history?
3. Has (…..)ever destroyed or vandalised any of your property?
4. Does (…..) turn up at your workplace, home, etc. unannounced or uninvited more than 3
times a week?
5. Does (…..) follow you or loiter around your workplace or home?
6. Has (…..) made any threats of physical or sexual violence?
7. Has (…..) harassed any third parties since the harassment began?
8. Has (…..) acted violently towards anyone else within the stalking incident?
9. Has (…..) persuaded other people to help him/her (wittingly or unwittingly)?
10. Is (…..) known to be abusing drugs or alcohol?
11. Is (…..) known to have been violent in the past?
This checklist should be used as an aide memoir rather than as a formal risk assessment.
For more information about the checklist visit
Where can you get more information?
Action Scotland Against Stalking
Scottish Women’s Aid 0800 027 1234
Rape Crisis Scotland
08088 01 03 02
Citizens Advice Scotland
Victim Support Scotland
0845 603 9213
National Stalking Helpline
0808 802 0300
Anyone affected by stalking can call the National Stalking Helpline on
0808 802 0300 or email [email protected]
If you want any information about stalking or further statistics then
please email [email protected]

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