This article presents findings from a study that examined the role of stalking in domestic violence crime reports in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The study consists of a case file review of 1,785 domestic violence crime reports that were initiated by the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) during a nine-month period. Colorado Springs is home to the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team, a nationally recognized domestic violence prevention program. The study provides needed empirical data on the prevalence of stalking in domestic violence crime reports, risk factors associated with intimate partner stalking, and police responses to reports of intimate partner stalking. Results found that 1 in 6 (16.5 percent) domestic violence crime reports contained evidence the suspect stalked the victim. Female victims were significantly more likely than male victims to allege stalking by their partners. Most stalkers were former rather than current intimates. Regardless of victims’ gender, reports with stalking allegations were significantly less likely to mention physical abuse or victim injury in the presenting condition. Female victims who alleged stalking by their partner were significantly less likely than female victims who did not allege stalking to be emotionally distraught and significantly more likely to have an active restraining order against the suspect and facilitate a police investigation. The study reports that police almost never charged domestic violence stalking suspects with stalking, preferring to charge them with harassment or violation of a restraining order. Study limitations are discussed. Tables, notes, references
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