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Trauma Symptoms of Former Intimate Stalking Victims

NCJ Number
Women & Criminal Justice Volume: 13 Issue: 2/3 Dated: 2002 Pages: 141-161
Date Published
21 pages

A total of 187 female victims stalked by former intimate partners were interviewed about their victimization experiences and administered Briere and Runtz's (1989) Trauma Symptom Checklist (TSC-33).


Semistructured face-to-face interviews were conducted with each woman in order to obtain information on the nature of her former relationship with her stalker, the nature of the stalking experience, and the effects of the stalking on the victim. A brief questionnaire was also administered to obtain demographic information. Respondents were also read each of 33 symptoms in the TSC-33 and asked to rate the frequency with which each symptom had occurred during the stalking period. The study found that regardless of whether or not the victim was subjected to violence before or during the stalking, or to threats during the stalking, the base mean score on the Sleep Disturbance scale of the TSC-33 was consistently the highest of the five symptom scales' base mean scores. Although Sleep Disturbance scores were highest, the victims experienced a wide variety of the emotional symptoms on the scale. The differences in the TSC-33 Dissociation, Anxiety, PSAT-h, Depression, and total mean scale scores between victims who suffered physical violence at the hands of their stalkers and those who did not corroborates findings from other victimization research that showed greater effects of violent crime than nonviolent (usually property) crime on victims. In addition to increasing the awareness of emotional effects of stalking on victims, those servicing the former intimate stalking population should realize that there is significantly greater emotional trauma to those who have experienced violence during the stalking. 9 tables, 13 notes, and 52 references

Date Published: January 1, 2002