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Complaints of group-stalking ('gang-stalking'): an exploratory study of their nature and impact on complainants

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Stalking primarily concerns the actions of individuals. However, some victims report stalking by organised groups, this being known as ‘group-’ or ‘gang-stalking’. This phenomenon has not been subject to systematic study. An anonymous questionnaire was completed online by self-defined victims of stalking. One thousand and forty respondents met research definitions for stalking, of which 128 (12.3%) reported group-stalking. One hundred and twenty-eight individually stalked cases were randomly selected as a comparison group. All cases of reported group-stalking were found likely to be delusional, compared with 3.9% of individually stalked cases. There were highly significant differences between the two groups on most parameters examined. The group-stalked scored more highly on depressive symptoms, post-traumatic symptomatology and adverse impact on social and occupational functioning. Group-stalking appears to be delusional in basis, but complainants suffer marked psychological and practical sequelae. This is important in assessment of risk in stalking cases, early referral to psychiatric services and allocation of police resources.
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... Gangstalking is a novel persecutory belief system whereby those affected believe they are being followed, stalked, and harassed by a large number of people, often numbering in the thousands [1,2]. In contrast to traditional forms of stalking that are usually organized by a single person [3], those affected by gangstalking are unable to identify a single person responsible for their persecution and experience it as a widely distributed and coordinated effort of co-conspirators. ...
... As described in the previous section, we began our analysis by obtaining keywords from our corpus of gangstalking forum threads. We modified Sheridan and James [1] initial 24 thematic categories of the gangstalking experience to 9 aggregate keyword categories (Table 4): (1) conceptions of gangstalking, ...
... Contributors use seem and its variants to hedge and capture a sense of uncertainty. Further, though gangstalking includes a core set of beliefs [1,2], individual expressions of the belief system vary from person to person. The term gangstalking allows forum contributors with varying experiences to have a common nomenclature to refer to their experiences for the purposes of exchanging stories and support with alike others. ...
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Background Gangstalking is a novel persecutory belief system whereby those affected believe they are being followed, stalked, and harassed by a large number of people, often numbering in the thousands. The harassment is experienced as an accretion of innumerable individually benign acts such as people clearing their throat, muttering under their breath, or giving dirty looks as they pass on the street. Individuals affected by this belief system congregate in online fora to seek support, share experiences, and interact with other like-minded individuals. Such people identify themselves as targeted individuals. Objective The objective of the study was to characterize the linguistic and rhetorical practices used by contributors to the gangstalking forum to construct, develop, and contest the gangstalking belief system. Methods This mixed methods study employed corpus linguistics, which involves using computational techniques to examine recurring linguistic patterns in large, digitized bodies of authentic language data. Discourse analysis is an approach to text analysis which focuses on the ways in which linguistic choices made by text creators contribute to particular functions and representations. We assembled a 225,000-word corpus of postings on a gangstalking support forum. We analyzed these data using keyword analysis, collocation analysis, and manual examination of concordances to identify discursive and rhetorical practices among self-identified targeted individuals. ResultsThe gangstalking forum served as a site of discursive contest between 2 opposing worldviews. One is that gangstalking is a widespread, insidious, and centrally coordinated system of persecution employing community members, figures of authority, and state actors. This was the dominant discourse in the study corpus. The opposing view is a medicalized discourse supporting gangstalking as a form of mental disorder. Contributors used linguistic practices such as presupposition, nominalization, and the use of specialized jargon to construct gangstalking as real and external to the individual affected. Although contributors generally rejected the notion that they were affected by mental disorder, in some instances, they did label others in the forum as impacted/affected by mental illness if their accounts if their accounts were deemed to be too extreme or bizarre. Those affected demonstrated a concern with accumulating evidence to prove their position to incredulous others. Conclusions The study found that contributors to the study corpus accomplished a number of tasks. They used linguistic practices to co-construct an internally coherent and systematized persecutory belief system. They advanced a position that gangstalking is real and contested the medicalizing discourse that gangstalking is a form of mental disorder. They supported one another by sharing similar experiences and providing encouragement and advice. Finally, they commiserated over the challenges of proving the existence of gangstalking.
... Gangstalking is a novel persecutory belief system whereby those affected believe they are being followed, stalked, and harassed by a large number of people, often numbering in the thousands [1,2]. In contrast to traditional forms of stalking that are usually organized by a single person [3], those affected by gangstalking are unable to identify a single person responsible for their persecution and experience it as a widely distributed and coordinated effort of co-conspirators. ...
... As described in the previous section, we began our analysis by obtaining keywords from our corpus of gangstalking forum threads. We modified Sheridan and James [1] initial 24 thematic categories of the gangstalking experience to 9 aggregate keyword categories (Table 4): (1) conceptions of gangstalking, ...
... Contributors use seem and its variants to hedge and capture a sense of uncertainty. Further, though gangstalking includes a core set of beliefs [1,2], individual expressions of the belief system vary from person to person. The term gangstalking allows forum contributors with varying experiences to have a common nomenclature to refer to their experiences for the purposes of exchanging stories and support with alike others. ...
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BACKGROUND Gangstalking is a novel persecutory belief system whereby sufferers believe they are being followed, stalked, and harassed by a large number of people, often numbering in the thousands. The harassment is experienced as an accretion of innumerable individually benign acts such as people clearing their throat, muttering under their breath, or giving dirty looks as they pass on the street. Sufferers of this belief system congregate in online fora to seek support, share experiences, and interact with other like-minded individuals. Such people identify themselves as targeted Individuals (TIs). OBJECTIVE The objective of the study was to characterize the linguistic and rhetorical practices used by contributors to the gangstalking forum to construct, develop and contest the gangstalking belief system. METHODS Methods This mixed methods study employed corpus linguistics, which involves using computational techniques to examine recurring linguistic patterns in large, digitised bodies of authentic language data. Discourse analysis is an approach to text analysis which focuses on the ways in which linguistic choices made by text creators contribute to particular functions and representations. We assembled a 225,000-word corpus of postings on a gangstalking support forum. We analysed this data using keyword analysis, collocation analysis and manual examination of concordances to identify discursive and rhetorical practices among self identified targeted individuals. RESULTS The gangstalking forum served as a site of discursive contest between two opposing worldviews. One is that gangstalking is a widespread, insidious, and centrally coordinated system of persecution employing community members, figures of authority and state actors. This was the dominant discourse in the study corpus. The opposing view is a medicalized discourse supporting gangstalking as a form of mental disorder. Contributors used linguistic practices such as presupposition, nominalization, and the use of specialized jargon to construct gangstalking as real and external to the sufferer. Though contributors generally rejected the notion that they were suffering from mental disorder, in some instances, they did label others in the forum as suffering from mental illness if their accounts were deemed to be too extreme or bizarre. Sufferers demonstrated a concern with accumulating evidence to prove their position to incredulous others. CONCLUSIONS The study found that contributors to the study corpus accomplished a number of tasks. They used linguistic practices to co-construct an internally coherent and systematized persecutory belief system. They advanced a position that gangstalking is real and contested the medicalizing discourse that gangstalking is a form of mental disorder. They supported one another by sharing similar experiences and providing encouragement and advice. Finally, they commiserated over the challenges of proving the existence of gangstalking.
... Seminal research by Sheridan and James (2015) suggests that the phenomenology of group-stalking differs from reported stalking cases involving lone-culprits and is arguably delusional in nature due to certain factors. First, the group-stalking percipients in their study exhibited depression and PTSD symptomology, as well as social and occupational difficulties. ...
... Strikingly, there was a moderately-strong inverse correlation between the S/O phenomenology of group-stalking accounts and that of "illicit" (i.e., deliberately deceitful) haunt narratives. This suggests that Sheridan and James (2015) collection of group-stalking accounts was not deliberately falsified. It also fits with the known characteristics of group-stalking, including its negative impacts on those who report it (Sheridan & James, 2015). ...
... This suggests that Sheridan and James (2015) collection of group-stalking accounts was not deliberately falsified. It also fits with the known characteristics of group-stalking, including its negative impacts on those who report it (Sheridan & James, 2015). Indeed, some people who believed themselves to be group-stalked have retaliated against those they perceived to be targeting them and sometimes with fatal consequences (see Sarteschi, 2018). ...
Article
Research suggests a Haunted People Syndrome (HP-S) is defined by the recurrent perception of anomalous subjective and objective events. Occurrences are traditionally attributed to supernatural agencies, but we argue that such interpretations have morphed into themes of “surveillance and stalking” in group-stalking reports. We tested a series of related hypotheses by re-analyzing survey data from the 2015 Sheridan and James study to explore statistical patterns in “delusional” group-stalking accounts (N=128) versus“non-delusional” (control) accounts of lone-culprit stalking (N=128). As expected, we found that (i) account types had different Rasch hierachies, (ii) the Rasch hierarchy of group-stalking experiences showed a robust unidimensional model, and (iii) this group-stalking hierarchy correlated significantly with spontanous “ghost“ experiences. However, we found no clear evidence for “event clustering” that might signify contagious processes in symptom perception. Findings support the viability of the HP-S construct and the idea that experiences of group-stalking and haunts share common sources.
... By contrast, reports of group or gang-stalking describe stalking by multiple individuals who engage in a shared endeavour with a group purpose. For research purposes, the number is taken as three or more, although in many instances those su↵ering from the phenomenon have reported the involvement of far greater numbers [5]. ...
... By contrast, indications as to the prevalence of gang-stalking experiences are few in number. In an anonymous questionnaire that was completed online by 1040 self-defined adult victims of stalking [5], 12.3% of respondents reported group or gang-stalking. A US Department of Justice prevalence study, which used a tight definition of stalking that required the victim to experience fear, found that 6.8% reported stalking by three or more people, and were "unable to identify a single offender" or "could not identify an offender who was singularly responsible" [16]. ...
... The gang-stalking phenomenon would thus appear to be relatively common. Yet, we could find only one empirical study of group or gang-stalking in the published literature [5]. By contrast, a Google search for "gang-stalking" conducted on 5 February 2020 produced 7,550,000 'hits'. ...
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Epidemiological data suggest that as many as 0.66% of adult women and 0.17% of adult men in the western world may su↵er the subjective experience of being group-stalked ('gang stalked') at some point in their lives. Yet the gang stalking experience has been subject to little scientific study. This paper reports an attempt to elicit the core phenomena involved in gang-stalking by allowing them to emerge de novo through the qualitative analysis of accounts of individuals who describe being gang-stalked. Fifty descriptions of gang-stalking that satisfied study inclusion criteria were identified from the internet and subjected to content analysis. Twenty-four core phenomena were elicited, together with 11 principal sequelae of the experience of being gang-stalked. These were then divided into groups, producing a framework for the phenomena of the gang-stalking experience. The results were compared with frequencies of the same categories of experience, then extracted from the original data of the only previous study on gang-stalking phenomena. Whilst the methodology of the current study was more rigorous, the core phenomena were similar in each. The current study confirmed the seriousness of the sequelae of the gang-stalking experience. These support the need for further exploration of the phenomenon, for which this study forms a basis.
... 47). Seminal research by Sheridan and James (2015) suggested that this phenomenon differs from stalking cases involving lone-culprits and is arguably delusional in nature. Here, victims state that they are being targeted by coordinated groups of people. ...
... The S/O events then apparently progress in stages over time (for a discussion, see e.g., Houran et al., 2019a). Table 1 shows that Sheridan and James' (2015) signs or symptoms of group-stalking can be categorised as S/O events. Furthermore, Table 2 affirms that the themes in these events resemble, at least superficially, those reported in accounts of ghostly episodes (cf. ...
... Symptoms of group-stalking(Sheridan & James, 2015: Table 1, pp. 9-10) categorized by subjective (psychological) vs. objective (physical) experiences. Covert Behaviours (aligns to Subjective Experiences) . ...
Article
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Research suggests a “Haunted People Syndrome (HP-S)” defined by recurrent and systematic perceptions of anomalous subjective and objective anomalies. Such signs or symptoms are traditionally attributed to “spirits and the supernatural,” but these themes are hypothesised to morph to “surveillance and stalking” in reports of “group-(or gang) stalking,” We tested this premise with a quali-quantitative exercise that mapped group-stalking experiences from a published first-hand account to a Rasch measure of haunt-type anomalies. This comparison found significant agreement in the specific “signs or symptoms” of both phenomena. Meta-patterns likewise showed clear conceptual similarities between the phenomenology of haunts and group-stalking. Findings are consistent with the idea that both anomalous episodes involve the same, or similar, attentional or perceptual processes and thereby support the viability of the HP-S construct.
... Gangstalking refers to a persecutory belief system wherein those affected believe they are being followed, watched, and harassed by many people in their community who have been recruited into a network of complicit perpetrators [1]. In contrast to traditional forms of stalking that are usually organized by a single person [2], sufferers of gangstalking are unable to identify a responsible individual and experience it as a widely distributed and coordinated effort of co-conspirators. ...
... Throughout our data, and as indicated in the extant literature regarding gangstalking [1,3], TIs express that the persecutory system is so pervasive, persistent, and widely distributed that they feel powerless to effectively intervene or protect themselves. They note that law enforcement and other figures of authority are complicit, so the usual forms of redress are not available. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Gangstalking refers to a novel persecutory belief system wherein sufferers believe that they are being followed, watched, and harassed by a vast network of people in their community who have been recruited as complicit perpetrators. They are frequently diagnosed as mentally ill, although they reject this formulation. Those affected by this belief system self-identify as targeted individuals (TIs). They seek to prove the veracity of their persecution and dispute the notion that they are mentally ill by posting videos online that purport to provide evidence of their claims. Objective The objective of the study was to characterize the multimodal social semiotic practices used in gangstalking evidence videos. Methods We assembled a group of 50 evidence videos posted on YouTube by self-identified TIs and performed a multimodal social semiotic discourse analysis using a grounded theory approach to data analysis. Results TIs accomplished several social and interpersonal tasks in the videos. They constructed their own identity as subjects of persecution and refuted the notion that they suffered from mental illness. They also cultivated positive ambient affiliation with viewers of the videos but manifested hostility toward people who appeared in the videos. They made extensive use of multimodal deixis to generate salience and construe the gangstalking belief system. The act of filming itself was a source of conflict and served as a self-fulfilling prophecy; filming was undertaken to neutrally record hostility directed toward video bloggers (vloggers). However, the act of filming precipitated the very behaviors that they set out to document. Finally, the act of filming was also regarded as an act of resistance and empowerment by vloggers. Conclusions These data provide insight into a novel persecutory belief system. Interpersonal concerns are important for people affected, and they construe others as either sympathetic or hostile. They create positive ambient affiliation with viewers. We found that vloggers use multimodal deixis to illustrate the salience of the belief system. The videos highlighted the Derridean concept of différance, wherein the meaning of polysemous signifiers is deferred without definitive resolution. This may be important in communicating with people and patients with persecutory belief systems. Clinicians may consider stepping away from the traditional true/false dichotomy endorsed by psychiatric classification systems and focus on the ambiguity in semiotic systems generally and in persecutory belief systems specifically.
... Gangstalking refers to a persecutory belief system wherein those affected believe they are being followed, watched, and harassed by many people in their community who have been recruited into a network of complicit perpetrators [1]. In contrast to traditional forms of stalking that are usually organized by a single person [2], sufferers of gangstalking are unable to identify a responsible individual and experience it as a widely distributed and coordinated effort of co-conspirators. ...
... Throughout our data, and as indicated in the extant literature regarding gangstalking [1,3], TIs express that the persecutory system is so pervasive, persistent, and widely distributed that they feel powerless to effectively intervene or protect themselves. They note that law enforcement and other figures of authority are complicit, so the usual forms of redress are not available. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Gangstalking refers to a novel persecutory belief system wherein sufferers believe that they are being followed, watched, and harassed by a vast network of people in their community who have been recruited as complicit perpetrators. They are frequently diagnosed as mentally ill, though they vehemently reject this formulation. Those affected by this belief system self-identify as targeted individuals. Targeted individuals seek to prove the veracity of their persecution and dispute the notion that they are mentally ill by posting videos online that purport to provide definitive evidence to substantiate their claims of harassment. OBJECTIVE The objective of the study was to characterize the multimodal social semiotic practices employed in gangstalking evidence videos. METHODS We assembled a group of 50 evidence videos posted on YouTube by self-identified targeted individuals. We performed a multimodal discourse analysis on a corpus of 50 YouTube vlogs. We employed a grounded theory approach to data analysis. RESULTS Targeted individuals accomplished several social and interpersonal tasks in the videos. They constructed their own identity as subjects of persecution and refuted the notion that they suffered from mental illness. They also cultivated positive ambient affiliation with viewers of the videos but manifested hostility to people who appeared in the videos. They made extensive use of multimodal deixis to generate salience and construe the gangstalking belief system. The act of filming itself was a source of conflict and served as a self-fulfilling prophecy; filming was undertaken to neutrally record hostility directed towards vloggers. However, the act of filming precipitated the very behaviours that they set out to document. Finally, the act of filming was also regarded as an act of resistance and empowerment by vloggers. CONCLUSIONS This data provides valuable insights into the social and linguistics construction of a novel persecutory belief system. The data is collected in a naturalistic setting and is not influenced by interviewers or clinicians, which may influence the disclosures of those affected in clinical settings. It demonstrated that interpersonal concerns figured prominently for those affected by this belief system and they constructed various subjects as either sympathetic or hostile. They created positive ambient affiliation with viewers of the videos. This study found that vloggers used multimodal deixis to construct the salience of the gangstalking belief system. The videos also highlighted the Derridean concept of differance, wherein meaning of polysemous signifiers is deferred without definitive resolution. This may have important clinical ramification in communicating with people and patients suffering from persecutory belief systems. Clinicians working with adherents to persecutory belief systems may consider stepping away from the traditional true/false dichotomy historically endorsed by psychiatric classification systems and focus on the fundamental ambiguity inherent in semiotic systems generally and in persecutory belief systems specifically.
Article
A paradox of drawing attention to violations of one’s privacy is that one must publicly detail what has happened. The targeted individual (TI) community is sustained by this very tension, voluminously producing media detailing what they believe is state surveillance. “TI” is a self-descriptor used by members of an online community to denote when a person believes they personally are being subject to organized harassment. Through treating the TI community as exemplifying broader patterns of self-publication on digital platforms, I argue that one explanation for continued investment in digital platforms is that it provides users with a sense of possession over their identities, allowing them to present themselves as they believe they are desired by the Other. This is achieved through an analysis of several examples of TI media grounded in the Lacanian concepts of the yieldable object, anxiety, and metonymy. The yieldable object refers to a media object that has been elevated to a status that is coextensive with the subject. Following my analysis, I suggest that scholars should consider adopting the yieldable object when assessing self-publication on platforms.
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What are your chances of being hit by lightning? Of winning the lottery? Of developing schizophrenia? The probabilities of these events, usually expressed in a percentage, are called base rates. Base rates are often calculated in clinical settings. They have important implications for a wide variety of issues in clinical practice. Although sometimes overlooked, base rates affect the prediction of behaviors (for example, suicide), the interpretation of test data (for example, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 scores), and decision making regarding diagnosis. This article discusses the need for practitioners to consider the relative frequency of phenomena (base rates) in particular clinical settings in order to make diagnoses and interpret psychological test scores appropriately. First, it explains what base rates are, and then discusses base rates and predictive power, implications of base rates for clinical practice and test use, and how to use base rates in daily clinical decision making.
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Problem/condition: Sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are public health problems known to have a negative impact on millions of persons in the United States each year, not only by way of immediate harm but also through negative long-term health impacts. Before implementation of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) in 2010, the most recent detailed national data on the public health burden from these forms of violence were obtained from the National Violence against Women Survey conducted during 1995-1996. This report examines sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization using data from 2011. The report describes the overall prevalence of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization; racial/ethnic variation in prevalence; how types of perpetrators vary by violence type; and the age at which victimization typically begins. For intimate partner violence, the report also examines a range of negative impacts experienced as a result of victimization, including the need for services. Reporting period: January-December, 2011. Description of system: NISVS is a national random-digit-dial telephone survey of the noninstitutionalized English- and Spanish-speaking U.S. population aged ≥18 years. NISVS gathers data on experiences of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence among adult women and men in the United States by using a dual-frame sampling strategy that includes both landline and cellular telephones. The survey was conducted in 50 states and the District of Columbia; in 2011, the second year of NISVS data collection, 12,727 interviews were completed, and 1,428 interviews were partially completed. Results: In the United States, an estimated 19.3% of women and 1.7% of men have been raped during their lifetimes; an estimated 1.6% of women reported that they were raped in the 12 months preceding the survey. The case count for men reporting rape in the preceding 12 months was too small to produce a statistically reliable prevalence estimate. An estimated 43.9% of women and 23.4% of men experienced other forms of sexual violence during their lifetimes, including being made to penetrate, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, and noncontact unwanted sexual experiences. The percentages of women and men who experienced these other forms of sexual violence victimization in the 12 months preceding the survey were an estimated 5.5% and 5.1%, respectively. An estimated 15.2% of women and 5.7% of men have been a victim of stalking during their lifetimes. An estimated 4.2% of women and 2.1% of men were stalked in the 12 months preceding the survey. With respect to sexual violence and stalking, female victims reported predominantly male perpetrators, whereas for male victims, the sex of the perpetrator varied by the specific form of violence examined. Male rape victims predominantly had male perpetrators, but other forms of sexual violence experienced by men were either perpetrated predominantly by women (i.e., being made to penetrate and sexual coercion) or split more evenly among male and female perpetrators (i.e., unwanted sexual contact and noncontact unwanted sexual experiences). In addition, male stalking victims also reported a more even mix of males and females who had perpetrated stalking against them. The lifetime and 12-month prevalences of rape by an intimate partner for women were an estimated 8.8% and 0.8%, respectively; an estimated 0.5% of men experienced rape by an intimate partner during their lifetimes, although the case count for men reporting rape by an intimate partner in the preceding 12 months was too small to produce a statistically reliable prevalence estimate. An estimated 15.8% of women and 9.5% of men experienced other forms of sexual violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes, whereas an estimated 2.1% of both men and women experienced these forms of sexual violence by a partner in the 12 months before taking the survey. Severe physical violence by an intimate partner (including acts such as being hit with something hard, being kicked or beaten, or being burned on purpose) was experienced by an estimated 22.3% of women and 14.0% of men during their lifetimes and by an estimated 2.3% of women and 2.1% of men in the 12 months before taking the survey. Finally, the lifetime and 12-month prevalence of stalking by an intimate partner for women was an estimated 9.2% and 2.4%, respectively, while the lifetime and 12-month prevalence for men was an estimated 2.5% and 0.8%, respectively. Many victims of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence were first victimized at a young age. Among female victims of completed rape, an estimated 78.7% were first raped before age 25 years (40.4% before age 18 years). Among male victims who were made to penetrate a perpetrator, an estimated 71.0% were victimized before age 25 years (21.3% before age 18 years). In addition, an estimated 53.8% of female stalking victims and 47.7% of male stalking victims were first stalked before age 25 years (16.3% of female victims and 20.5% of male victims before age 18 years). Finally, among victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, an estimated 71.1% of women and 58.2% of men first experienced these or other forms of intimate partner violence before age 25 years (23.2% of female victims and 14.1% of male victims before age 18 years). Interpretation: A substantial proportion of U.S. female and male adults have experienced some form of sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence at least once during their lifetimes, and the sex of perpetrators varied by the specific form of violence examined. In addition, a substantial number of U.S. adults experienced sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence during the 12 months preceding the 2011 survey. Consistent with previous studies, the overall pattern of results suggest that women, in particular, are heavily impacted over their lifetime. However, the results also indicate that many men experience sexual violence, stalking, and, in particular, physical violence by an intimate partner. Because of the broad range of short- and long-term consequences known to be associated with these forms of violence, the public health burden of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence is substantial. RESULTS suggest that these forms of violence frequently are experienced at an early age because a majority of victims experienced their first victimization before age 25 years, with a substantial proportion experiencing victimization in childhood or adolescence. Public health action: Because a substantial proportion of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence is experienced at a young age, primary prevention of these forms of violence must begin early. Prevention efforts should take into consideration that female sexual violence and stalking victimization is perpetrated predominately by men and that a substantial proportion of male sexual violence and stalking victimization (including rape, unwanted sexual contact, noncontact unwanted sexual experiences, and stalking) also is perpetrated by men. CDC seeks to prevent these forms of violence with strategies that address known risk factors for perpetration and by changing social norms and behaviors by using bystander and other prevention strategies. In addition, primary prevention of intimate partner violence is focused on the promotion of healthy relationship behaviors and other protective factors, with the goal of helping adolescents develop these positive behaviors before their first relationships. The early promotion of healthy relationships while behaviors are still relatively modifiable makes it more likely that young persons can avoid violence in their relationships.
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There is a general trend amongst mass media organisations around the world towards concentration of the visual, written and audio packaging and of newspapers, websites and television as channels of information. These platforms are explored in detail in this paper in relation to the moral panics around ‘internet trolling’. This paper discusses the history of trolling in the context of mass media, specifically ‘classical trolling’ and ‘Anonymous trolling’. A review of different media headlines finds that whether or not a story is portrayed in newspapers, online, or on television, the media will use a variety of ways to convey their messages. In the case of ‘trolls’, they show a darker, sinister and transgressive side of cyberspace in the form of abuse and vitriol (i.e., anonymous trolling). The paper concludes that future research should look in detail at the different character types of internet troller and how these affect the way so called ‘trolls’ are represented in the media and the effect this has on the attitude towards young internet users and trollers in general.
Book
This book is about mobbing-a form of interpersonal abuse that occurs in all of the major institutions and organizations of human life-school, work, religious organizations, the legal system, and in communities where people live, such as condominium and homeowners' associations. Mobbing casts its victims in a negative light to either force them out of the organization or to render them as suspect and unworthy while remaining within the organization. Mobbing is not the same as bullying, in that it involves the interaction of individual, group, and organizational dynamics. The book provides a cogent analysis, drawing from research beginning in the 1970s, of what mobbing is, its destructive consequences, and strategies for individual and organizational recovery and prevention. The book is divided into four parts. Part I introduces the process of mobbing and the development of mobbing research and provides an overview of mobbing within workplaces, schools, and other organizations together with case exemplars, illustrations, and discussions outlining how to recognize it. Part II examines how mobbing develops and looks at the organizational context, organizational dynamics, group dynamics, individual behavior, and the interrelationship among these factors to provide an explanatory framework. Part III discusses the significant negative consequences of mobbing in terms of its damaging effects on physical and psychological health, and its harmful impact on family and social relationships and work performance. Part IV examines how individuals and organizations recover from mobbing and what measures at the organizational and legislative levels are effective in reducing and preventing mobbing.
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Stalking has emerged as a significant social problem which not only commands considerable public attention but is now, in many jurisdictions, a specific form of criminal offense. This new edition brings the reader completely up-to-date with the explosion in published research and clinical studies in the field, and covers new issues such as cyberstalking, stalking health professionals, stalking in the workplace, female stalkers, juvenile stalkers, stalking celebrities, evaluating risk in the stalking situation, as well as exploring changes to the legal status of the behavior. Illustrated with case studies throughout, this is the definitive guide and reference for anyone with professional, academic or other interests in this complex behavior. © P. Mullen, M. Pathé and R. Purcell 2009 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Chapter
This chapter illustrates the false victimization syndromes in stalking. When suspicions arise that a stalking complaint might not be legitimate, there are at least 12 categories of descriptors. Moreover, these should be assessed to determine the presence of a potential false victimization syndrome. Victim presentation refers to the kinds of behavior the victims engage in, and whether this behavior is consistent with typical victim behavior or not. Enlistment of others refers to the manner in which the complainant interfaces with the individual's support system around the incident. In some cases of false victimization it is not at all uncommon to clearly see the obvious secondary gains that the victim is getting out of the allegations. Psychological data refers to whether there are any mental health problems in the victim's background. Historical clues include information gleaned from the history of the complainant and other collateral sources that may point in the direction of a false allegation. Suspect problems refer to problems with the victim's description of the suspect, often centering on the notion that the victim's characterization of the suspect conflicts with known suspect behavior.
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Stalking is a crime involving repeated and often prolonged harassment of one individual, usually by one other. Despite the prevalence of this interpersonal crime, not all stalking allegations are legitimate, with some being false claims based on a variety of different factors such as false belief, attention or sympathy, and revenge. This study of a sample of false claimants sought to determine whether there are features, such as duration, relationship status and employment among which others could be used to determine the veracity of a stalking complaint. This sample was compared to other like samples and to the common characteristics of legitimate reports in order to determine the degree to which case features could indicate falsity. Findings show that age can be discriminatory depending on the reference sample used, and that false reporters tend to be under or unemployed and report more electronic surveillance among others. Recommendations for future examinations are proposed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)