Partner Stalking: How Women Respond, Cope, and Survive

Partner Stalking: How Women Respond, Cope, and Survive

Partner Stalking: How Women Respond, Cope, and Survive

Partner Stalking: How Women Respond, Cope, and Survive

Synopsis

It is estimated that a quarter of all women will be stalked in their lifetime. Stalkers put their victims in danger of losing their jobs, their support system, even their lives; and subject them to dangerously high levels of fear and stress. This book examines the multiple aspects of partner stalking from the victim's perspective. Female survivors share their personal stories of partner stalking, and the authors provide an extensive look at the latest stalking research providing readers with the new most relevant implications for practice and future research.

Excerpt

This volume joins a short list of must-reads about the interconnection of partner violence and stalking. Sixty-two women, half from urban and half from rural areas, gave detailed interviews about the history of their relationships and the physical, mental, economic, and social impact of stalking on their lives. Of special importance is the depth of information about how the women coped. Their experiences with friends and family and formal social systems, such as mental health, victims' assistance, and the criminal justice system, are developed so that one can appreciate both individual patterns and general conclusions. The authors have learned too much about the complexity of abuse-stalking relationships to favor any one-size-fitsall recommendations about providing better services for victims. But they do come forward with important suggestions for improving the plight of abuse-stalking victims.

The study sample is not a probability sample, but it is surely one that represents a great many of the experiences of women in violent relationships characterized by stalking. Logan and her colleagues are to be congratulated for making a significant contribution to our understanding of several aspects of being in a violent relationship that is also marked by stalking during and after the relationship. In reading these women's descriptions, I am reminded of Johnson and Ferraro's (2000) description of “Intimate Terrorism.” The level of physical and psychological abuse, especially that marked by detailed surveillance, fills out the picture of what it is like to have lived with an intimate terrorist—and, in many cases, to try to escape from that relationship. Of the sample, 94% had experienced severe physical violence. Two thirds of the women saw control as the primary motivation for the partner's stalking. In 66% of these cases, the women suffered from chronic health problems apparently due to the combination of violence and continued intrusive behaviors. Three of the more telling . . .

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