Types of Stalkers

The Psychology of Stalking book cover. This book was edited by Dr. J. Reid Meloy, author of Violent Attachments.

The article by Katherine Ramsland (Dr Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D. has published twenty books. She holds graduate degrees in forensic psychology, clinical psychology, and philosophy) at http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/psychology/stalkers/5.html?sect=19 says

"While many stalkers only threaten harm, a small percentage carry out their threats, damaging property or harming pets. With the rise in popularity of the Internet, cyber-stalking has become yet another avenue of danger. Many stalkers have a prior criminal record and show evidence of substance abuse, a mood disorder, a personality disorder, or psychosis. At least half of all stalkers threaten their victims, which increases the possibility of violence. Frequency of violence averages 25 to 35 percent, with most violence occurring between people who have been romantically involved in the past.

The unrelenting harassment causes great emotional stress in the targeted victims. Some people lose their jobs or have to change their identity and move. They may suffer from extreme anxiety, sleep disorders and depression. Some consider suicide. If they have family members or children who are brought under the threat umbrella, they suffer even more from guilt and fear for the others. Even if these incidents get reported, restraining laws can do little against the verbal harassment. In fact some laws require that there be a genuine risk of danger or a pattern of incidents before formal protection is offered.

There's no easy way to predict who might become a stalker. It could be a former boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse; a fellow employee who has spotted his target in some casual encounter; a hostile neighbor; a video store clerk; and even a stranger who happens to have seen the victim on the street. Even people who were not abusive prior to their obsession can become so in the throes of it, because according to Janet S. Rulo-Pierson, a hospital counselor, they slowly exchange reality for an imaginary world that's more comforting and empowering.

Several stalker typologies have been developed, and according to Dr. Michael Zona and his colleagues from the University of Southern California School of Medicine, stalkers appear to come in three basic varieties, with a perverse twist on stalking that adds a fourth important category:
1. Simple obsessional
The most common form is male with a female with whom he was once sexually intimate.
2. Love obsessional
A love-obsessed stalker tends to idealize a celebrity or someone he has seen from afar and he develops an unrealistic belief that the target person will agree to a relationship.
3. Erotomania
Someone suffering from this more extreme obsession believes that the victim loves him or her.
4. False victimization
Claiming harassment and stalking when none exists, this behavior is usually carried on by people with histrionic personality disorders.

This article about stalking from http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/psychology/stalkers/5.html?sect=19 also says there is another method of catogorising stalkers. Ther article says

"Another method of categorizing stalkers comes from the team who wrote the FBI's Crime Classification Manual:

1.Non-domestic stalker, who has no personal relationship with the victim
2.Organized (based in a calculated, controlled aggression)
3.Delusional (based in a fixation like erotomania)
4.Domestic stalker, who has had a prior relationship with the victim and feels motivated to continue the relationship; this constitutes around 60 percent of stalkers and the aggression often culminates in violence.

Stalkers tend to be unemployed or underemployed, but are smarter than other criminals. They often have a history of failed intimate relationships. They tend to devalue their victims and to sexualize them. They also idealize certain people, minimize what they are doing to resist, project onto people motives and actions that have no basis in truth, and rationalize that the target person deserves to be harassed and violated.

While many stalkers view their actions within a delusional framework and therefore see no need to get help, a few do actually approach professionals. One case resulted in a landmark decision that shifted certain responsibilities onto the shoulders of therapists."
For further information on catogorising stalkers from this website, click on this link to view the whole article and more Stalker Types (from crimelibrary.com)

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