Stalking is the imposition of a pattern of repeated and unwanted intrusive acts by one person into the life of another, with the result that the victim (i.e., the target of the acts) experiences apprehension, distress, or fear. Stalking emerged as a concept in the English-speaking world during the 1990s. It first came to public attention because of the victimization of celebrities, then was recognized as a widespread social problem because of its links with domestic violence. Research has since shown that stalking affects a wide range of victims and is relatively common in industrialized societies. The entry reviews the epidemiology of stalking, the effects on victims, anti-stalking laws, and some proposed explanations for stalking behavior.


Epidemiological studies of stalking suggest that approximately 17–30% of women ...

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