The Women and Gender Advocacy Center reports that 16.2% of women and 5.2% of men in the United States have experienced stalking at some point in their lives. With these unfortunate statistics in mind, it’s important that we all educate ourselves on the topic of stalking, which is generally defined as “criminal activity consisting of the repeated following and harassing of another person.”
According to Dr. Ronald M. Holmes (a professor emeritus of criminology), there are six different types of stalkers we should be on the lookout for:
1. Love-Scorned: refers to someone who wants to have an intimate relationship with the victim, but is rejected. This can also include someone who has erotomania, which is a delusional disorder causing one to believe that a person of higher status (like a celebrity) is in love with them.
2. Lust: Ted Bundy is the perfect example. This type of stalker is a serial predator who continues to stalk one victim after the other. According to the novel Criminology: Theory, Research, and Policy, this type of stalking is sexual – especially since the stalker preys upon victims who possess certain characteristics.
3. Domestic: this is the most common type of stalking. It involves someone stalking a former partner or spouse.
4. Hit (murder for hire): when a victim is being stalked by a hired killer.
5. Celebrity: calls attention to individuals who stalk those in the public eye. This may make you think of paparazzi, but there’s no conclusive research on whether or not these individuals are stalkers. However, celebrity stalkers may pose as paparazzi to get closer to their victim.
6. Political: when someone is motivated to stalk their victim because of political beliefs.
On Psychology Today, Dr. Dale Hartley proposed that another category be added:
7. Revenge. This involves “an angry ex-employee, an aggrieved business partner, a resentful neighbor, a vindictive relative, or any other person – usually known to the victim – whose motive for stalking is payback.”
Though it may be frightening to think of stalking, it’s important that we remain aware of all the information that surrounds this topic. After all, knowledge is power.