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Stalking: A Paradoxical Crime of the Nineties

NCJ Number
International Journal of Risk, Security and Crime Prevention Volume: 2 Issue: 4 Dated: October 1997 Pages: 291-300
Debra Keenahan; Allen Barlow
Date Published
October 1997
10 pages
This article examines the interface between stalking, the effectiveness and policing of Australian anti-stalking legislation, and the impact of stalking on the focus person.
The article is part of a project focusing on stalkers who either have developed intense emotional feelings toward another who they know does not reciprocate those feelings, or the “former intimate” stalker who is unwilling to accept the breakdown of a relationship. The article discusses the etiology of stalking, de Clerambault’s syndrome, erotomania, morbid jealousy, obsessive love, motive-based typologies, background to the Australian legislation, problems with stalking legislation and policing, and establishing “credible threat” and “intent to harm.” Attempts to combat the problem of stalking have the potential to establish a police state, to develop situations where, because of overbreadth of the legislation, genuinely innocent behavior can be defined as criminal behavior. Far preferable to any kind of blanket legislation is early identification of risk situations and responsible joint intervention by police and mental health clinicians. Tables, notes