Moreover, technological advancements in communication industry have resulted in higher rates of stalking. According to Woodlock (2017), out of 153 reported cases of stalking that involved violence against the victim, 46 of them were perpetrated through technology-based communications. Likewise, the technology has made it possible for the stalker to track the victim all the time without being present at the victim's place (Woodlock, 2017). This has made it possible for the external stalking to continue even when the victim has assumed another relationship and is stable.
Causes and Reasons for Stalking Intimate Partner Stalking
Stalking is a social problem emanating from a wide array of sociological as well as psychological issues. As a form of violence, intimate partner stalking is related to poverty. Although intimate partner violence is prevalent across all socio-economic groups, it is more severe among the lower class groups across the United States, India, and Nicaragua (Jewkes, 2002). The underlying relationship between intimate partner relationship and poverty is due to stress. Poverty is inherently stressful and may lead to violence against an intimate partner (Jewkes, 2002). Poor men do not have enough resources to reduce and control stress and end up being violent against their partners. In this sense, desperate men languishing in poverty may resort to spying on their partners ending up physically or sexually assaulting their partners.
Poverty, power and sex identity interact to cause a tendency in men to possible stalk and hit women. There is a relationship between poverty, male identity and male vulnerability as violence against women (Jewkes, 2002). Men living in poverty fail to live up to self or societal thoughts of a successful man which leads to stress which in turn make them fight women as a means of establishing their power. Thus, violence against women emanates from male vulnerability resulting from social expectations of manhood which one cannot attain due to poverty. Such men can easily resort to stalking in pursuit of enhancing their power against the women.
Moreover, stalking could result from relationship conflicts. According to Jewkes (2002), relationships marked by constant verbal disagreements and high levels of conflicts end up in violence. The violence is as a result of ensuing frustration and anger. Relationship conflicts lead to marital instability where on partner feels fear and considers leaving the relationship. Consequently, women who exit their relationships are at increased risk of being stalked and even murdered (Jewkes, 2002).
In other cases, intimate partner stalking result from alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption among men or women leads to intimate partner violence (Jewkes, 2002). Alcohol impairs inhibitions, ability to interpret social cues and cloud judgment. With impaired judgments and improper interpretation of social cues, partners may act without considering the consequences of their acts. For example, a drunken man may repeatedly call his wife and even track her to where he eventually hits her without any good reason other than being unable to control actions at that moment of being drunk.
Furthermore, stalking is motivated by psychological issues among the perpetrators. These are issues related to behavior. For example, where a husband feels like he should control his wife, he will automatically keep stalking her (Logan & Walker 2009). The stalking partner may be feeling that his or her partner could be snatched by other people out there. Hence, the stalking partner has insecure feelings about being the partner leaving him or her to be in another relationship or simply wants to know whom the partner talks to, makes friends with or spends his or her time with.
Prevalence of Intimate Partner Stalking
Intimate partner stalking is rampant in the United States. About 81% of women are being stalked by a former or current partner (Mechanic, Weaver & Resick, 2008). These women end up being physically assaulted by such stalkers while 31% experience sexual assault as a result (Mechanic et al., 2008). Additionally, women who are stalked by former partners are most likely to encounter psychological abuse unlike those who are not stalked by former partners (Mechanic et al., 2008).
Intimate partner stalking tends to affect all people of different races, ethnicities, nationalities, and race irrespective of their socio-economic status. Intimate partner violence is prevalent across all socio-economic groups (Jewkes, 2002). This means that no one can be immune against stalking. However, the prevalence tends to be higher in low socioeconomic groups because of high poverty rates and high alcohol consumptions (Logan, Shannon, & Cole, 2007).
The probability of a woman experiencing sexual violence by an intimate partner in the United States is high. In fact, about one in every ten women (9.4%) has undergone rape by an intimate partner during her lifetime including attempted forced penetration completed forced penetration or drug facilitated completed penetration (Breiding, Chen & Black, 2014). Among men who experienced physical violence, rape or stalking by an intimate partner, male victims (92.1%) are highly likely to than females (56.8%) to encounter physical violence (Breiding et al., 2014).
Females experience a combined physical violence and rape at a rate of 14.4% while 8.7% have gone through physical violence and rape at the same time. 12.5% have experienced the trio; stalking, physical violence and rape (Breiding et al., 2014). These statistics show that women who experience stalking also are likely to experience physical violence and possible rape.
Cases of stalking, physical violence and rape are also higher among bisexual women perpetrated by an intimate partner as compared to lesbian and heterosexual women (Breiding et al., 2014). Bisexuals experience the abuse at a rate of 61.1% whereas lesbian stand a chance of 43.8% and heterosexual at 35.0%. Lifetime, heterosexual men are 29.0% likely to experience physical violence, rape and stalking by an intimate partner, 37.3% in bisexual men and 26% in gay (Breiding et al., 2014).
Prevalence of rape, stalking, and physical violence tends to increase or decrease with food and house security. Among women and men who encounter food insecurity over a period of twelve months, there was a prevalence rate of 11.6% and 8.2% respectively. Contrarily, only 3.2% and 4.0% of women and men respectively who experienced food insecurity encountered rape, stalking or physical violence by an intimate partner (Breiding et al., 2014). On the other hand, women and men who underwent housing insecurity over a period of twelve months experienced 10.0% and 7.9% respectively of rape, physical violence and stalking whereas women and men who did not have house insecurity stood a chance of 2.3% and 3.1% respectively (Breiding et al., 2014). The high prevalence of rape, physical violence and stalking among women and men experiencing both house and food insecurity suggests that these assault problems are likely related to poverty among individuals.
When stalking prevalence is studied in isolation from other intimate partner assaults, it is realized that women suffer more than men. About 15.2% of women representing 18.3 million have been subjected to stalking, and they have lived a fearful life imagining that someone close to them would harm or kill (Breiding, 2014). Twelve months before the study, 4.25 of women experienced stalking representing about 5.1 million women. The prevalence of stalking for men was relatively low with o...
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