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 Who are stalkers?

Below we explore the stalking typologies, motives and risks:

As noted in earlier blogs, stalkers are not a synonymous group. Rather, they can look like anyone and enter victims’ lives in a variety of ways. However, after years of research into stalking behaviour, themes and patterns have been identified. As such, five key typologies have been established. These help us to deconstruct how a stalker presents, understand what motivates them and anticipate future actions. Positively, being able to review offending in this way allows us to better assess risk, offer a personalised, relevant response, and ultimately, protect victims.

It should be noted that the official, clinical terms of ‘ex-intimate partner’ and ‘stranger’ are adopted below. However, these should be understood loosely. ‘Stranger stalking’ does not always relate to a perpetrator that is completely unknown and unconnected to the victim. This group can be made up of acquaintances, colleagues, clients, friends and so on. Similarly, ‘ex-intimate partners’ are not always ex-husbands and ex-wives. This term also includes former boyfriends, girlfriends and casual, intimate relationships.

Rejected Stalkers:

Who are they?

Rejected stalkers are the most common stalking typology. They are primarily ex-partners, however, can extend to other groups whereby there has been a loss of a deeply significant, intimate relationship.

What initiates the behaviour?

Rejected stalkers are motivated by the loss or breakdown of a significant relationship. Initially, their focus is reconciliation, however this can quickly transition to/between revenge. Victims have noted a rapid transition in the tone of a stalker’s contact, fluctuating between messages of love and begging for forgiveness, to insults and threats.

What sustains the behaviour?

For rejected stalkers, their behaviour allows for an imitation of the intimacy that they have lost. Whether the contact is positive or negative, any communication (or perceived communication) with the victim acts as a semblance of the missing closeness. It is for this reason that we advise against blocking your perpetrator – if the stalker believes that they are engaging with you, their behaviour is less likely to escalate. However, if they feel that they have lost their communication channel, this can motivate physical appearances at the victim’s home, workplace etc.

Resentful Stalkers:

Who are they?

Resentful stalkers fit into the ‘stranger’ category. However, often they will have had contact with the victim or their work at some point to initiate their obsession and resentfulness. This group is rare and highly unique in their motivations.

What initiates the behaviour?

These stalkers view themselves as championing positive action and fighting an injustice. As such, their motivation centres around revenge. Identifying as a victim or oppressed, resentful stalkers feel it is their duty to fight back.

What sustains the behaviour?

Resentful stalkers derive satisfaction from the power and control that stalking brings them. Feeling that their actions are causing harm to their victim instils a sense of dominance and motivates them to continue, if not escalate their behaviour.

Intimacy Seekers:

Who are they?

Intimacy stalkers are understood to be ‘stranger’ stalkers. Although they can be a complete stranger to the victim, they can also be known through casual contact or as an acquaintance.
They do not identify as a perpetrator or having a ‘victim’, as they see no malice in their intentions or actions.

What initiates the behaviour?

Intimacy stalkers are understood to be ‘stranger’ stalkers. Although they can be a complete stranger to the victim, they can also be known through casual contact or as an acquaintance. They do not identify as a perpetrator or having a ‘victim’, as they see no malice in their intentions or actions.

What sustains the behaviour?

Intimacy seekers usually experience loneliness or a lack of love/partner. Their behaviour is initiated by attempting to establish an intimate relationship with their chosen victim. Sometimes their stalking behaviour begins covertly, however, eventually presents overtly as they attempt to declare or demonstrate their love.

Incompetent Suitors:

Who are they?

Very similar to the above intimacy seeker, incompetent suitors are ‘stranger’ stalkers, usually consisting of genuine strangers, but also casual contacts and acquaintances. They are also motivated by loneliness, but dissimilar to the romantic nature of intimacy seekers, they have a stronger sense of lust.

What initiates the behaviour?

Incompetent suitors present as attempting to establish a friendship or, frequently, a sexual relationship. In their search for satisfaction, their advances are usually insensitive, unaware and crude. These stalkers appear oblivious to their victim’s disinterest and even distress.

What sustains the behaviour?

Thankfully, a lack of positive reinforcement usually results in an incompetent suitor’s behaviour subsiding. However, in incidents where the victim and perpetrator share proximity, the stalking advances can sustain over an extended period of time.

Predatory Stalkers:

Who are they?

Predatory stalkers are usually strangers. Their victims are perceived as vulnerable, most frequently consisting of women, young people and children. Predatory stalkers are incredibly rare and considered highly dangerous due to their deviant desires.

What initiates the behaviour?

Predatory stalkers are obsessed by deviant sexual desires and unusual practices. Once they have selected their victim, their early behaviours are driven by gaining information, proximity and preparing for a potential attack.

What sustains the behaviour?

In many ways, the act of stalking itself is thrilling for a predatory stalker. Feeding from the danger and power, voyeuristic behaviour allows for the perpetrator to fantasise about a victim’s fate.

Overall, it is clear that although we band all stalkers together, there are distinct differences. To best protect victims and respond appropriately, it is important that everyone who interacts with stalking – whether that is victims or practitioners – pays attention to these categories. If you would like any more information on this, or believe that this has described your stalker, please do get in touch at info@veritas-justice.co.uk.

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