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Decline in Stalking Before Pandemic Attributed To Drop in Tech Incidents

About 3.4 million U.S. residents 16 or older were victims of stalking in 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reports. That was a statistically significant decrease from 2016 (that was largely driven by a decline in stalking that involved technology only, declining from 1.3 million victims in 2016 to 1.1 million in 2019. In comparison, the number of victims of traditional stalking only or both traditional and technology stalking did not change significantly. The new data preceded the coronavirus pandemic. Stalking includes repeated unwanted contacts or behaviors that caused the victim to experience fear or substantial emotional distress.

The findings are based the National Crime Victimization Survey, in which Americans are asked if they were crime victims in the previous year. Only 29 percent of stalking victims reported the victimization to police in 2019. Women were stalked more than twice as often as men. An estimated 67 percent of victims of both traditional stalking and stalking with technology were fearful of being killed or physically harmed. „Sixty-seven percent of victims knew their stalker. „ Victims of both types of stalking in 2019 were more likely to be stalked by an intimate partner than victims of only traditional stalking. Victims of both stalking types were more than twice as likely to have applied for a restraining, protection, or no-contact order as victims of traditional or technology stalking only.


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