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Stalking among juveniles

  • Rosemary Purcell (a1), Bridget Moller (a2), Teresa Flower (a3) and Paul E. Mullen (a4)
Abstract
Background

There is an almost total lack of empirical research on stalking among juveniles.

Aims

To examine the characteristics, nature and impacts of stalking by juveniles.

Method

Analysis of consecutive court applications for a restraining order against a juvenile because of stalking behaviours.

Results

A total of 299 juvenile stalkers were identified. The majority were male (64%) and their victims predominantly female (69%). Most pursued a previously known victim (98%), favouring direct means of contact via unwanted approaches (76%) and telephone calls or text messaging (67%). Threats (75%) and physical and sexual assaults (54%) were common. The contexts for juvenile stalking involved an extension of bullying (28%), retaliation for a perceived harm (22%), a reaction to rejection (22%), sexual predation (5%) and infatuation (2%).

Conclusions

Juvenile stalking is characterised by direct, intense, overtly threatening and all too often violent forms of pursuit. The seriousness that is afforded to adult forms of stalking should similarly apply to this behaviour among juveniles given the even greater rates of disruption to the victim's life and risks of being attacked.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Rosemary Purcell, ORYGEN Research Centre, Locked Bag 10, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia. Email: rpurcell@unimelb.edu.au
Footnotes
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This project was supported by a grant (CRC06/05-06) from the Criminology Research Council of Australia. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Council.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Stalking among juveniles

  • Rosemary Purcell (a1), Bridget Moller (a2), Teresa Flower (a3) and Paul E. Mullen (a4)
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