Stalking and the Crime of Criminal Harassment (Session G)
Stalking is a standard form of abuse for domestic victims but needs special attention when supporting a person who is in, or soon to leave an abusive relationship. Equipping yourself with knowledge and tools to identify, label and act on signs of stalking will increase the safety of the vulnerable people you are trying to serve. Many victims do not notice escalating behaviors from a familiar offender, so are less likely to recognize their growing jeopardy or make plans to increase their safety. Since no one can accurately predict the exact behavior of another human being, we must be diligent in our awareness and assessment of a potentially violent situation.
Jeff will provide a historic overview of the evolution of criminal harassment, as well as contemporary national statistics. He explains types of stalking behaviour, and the various strategies victims use to cope. He will dispel myths regarding who offenders are and look at police tactics to manage this threatening behaviour. Anecdotal police cases will be discussed to assist participants in understanding stalking behaviour and how to investigate this unique crime. Further, service providers will gain insight on how to support people who are subjected to stalking behavior.
The entertainment industry will be examined to demonstrate its influence on society’s tolerance of this behavioural crime. Jeff will talk about Cyber stalking and harassment, and their effects. Other areas of research, such as, the psychological effects of stalking on victims, assessment of risks and best practices, will be explored. Jeff’s personal experience with survivors will also help guide this session to ensure this topic continues to receive the appropriate measures of care and diligence.
Although presented through the lens of law enforcement, this session is applicable to all service providers and to the general public who will benefit from an increased awareness to stalking behaviours and this complex crime.