STALKING & CYBERSTALKING FACTS
Types of Stalking
Welcome to iPredator Inc.’s stalking & cyberstalking identification, prevention and education page. The stalker & cyber stalker profile involves multiple descriptions, definitions and dimensions. With the advent of the Information and Communications Technology, cyber stalking has gradually grown to become a serious concern for law enforcement and anyone engaged in online activities.
The typologies of stalkers are theoretical descriptions shared by both the cyber and physical stalkers. The goal of victim prevention is to first understand their rationale for acting as a predator and then developing strategies to prevent becomingg a victim. Learning to profile and predict the stalker & cyberstalker greatly reduces the predator’s objective of causing you or your loved ones psychological and physical harm.
Stalking is defined as a behavior wherein a person willfully and repeatedly engages in conduct directed towards another person who, if known by the victim, causes significant concern and fear. The predator that initiates and sustains the stalking behavior(s) may or may not recognize he/she is causing their victim serious alarm, perceptual torment and the unfortunate experience of being terrorized.
Stalking involves one person’s obsessive behavior toward another person. Initially, stalking usually takes the form of annoying, threatening or obscene telephone calls, emails or letters. During this period, the victim views the stalker’s actions as more of a form of harassment as opposed to an escalating dangerous situation. Once the harassment stage has been established, it is during this period the potential victim needs to contact law enforcement. It is also crucial to begin keeping a written log documenting each time the stalker makes contact.
Psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals view most stalkers as suffering from a psychiatric illness(s) causing them to be psychotic or delusional. When not deemed as psychotic, stalkers are considered plagued by some type of personality disorder or fueled by unique psychological factors. In the most severe cases, the stalker is defined as a predatory stalker or sociopath.
Whatever the psychological rationale may be, the stalker rarely comprehends the fear he/she is causing the other person. Blinded by his/her motivations to be stalking someone in the first place causes them to lose sight of the fear and terror they are causing. When anger, rage and hostility towards the victim are involved, the stalker is fully aware of the anguish he/she is causing, but feels the victim is deserving of the fear or simply does not care. In 1999, Australian stalking expert, Dr. Paul Mullen, and a group of investigators identified five types of stalkers, which, remains applicable today for stalkers and Cyberstalkers and as follows:
I. Rejected Stalkers: This type of stalker is motivated to pursue their victim in attempt to reverse what they perceive as a wrongful set of circumstances causing a prior divorce, separation or termination of a relationship. These offenders either feel misunderstood hoping to reverse the break up or feel angry and seeking revenge because their attempts at reconciliation with the victim has failed in the past.
II. Resentful Stalkers: This type of stalker can be dangerous given their perceived motivation for stalking. Resentful stalkers are fully aware the victim is cognizant of the stalking, but continues to fulfill a distorted vendetta he/she feels is warranted. Fear and distress experienced by the victim are the goals of this type of stalker. For this type of profile, the stalker believes the victim both deserves and requires being frightened because they have caused them and/or others anguish and distress.
III. Intimacy Seekers: This type of stalker does not have ill will towards their victim and simply wants to engage in a loving relationship with them. Intimacy seekers view their victims as their soul mate destined to be together at all costs. Within their mind, they believe it is their job and purpose to ensure destiny of a loving relationship is fulfilled. Intimacy seeker stalkers are often the segment of men or women who harass celebrities and public figures. Blinded by their distorted perceptions of a destined love, they lose sight of the distress and fear they are causing the person they stalk.
IV. Incompetent Suitors: These individuals who fit this profile are stalkers deeply enamored with their victim. Their interest for the victim at times can reach a state of fixation whereby their entire waking life is focused on the endeavor of one day becoming a couple. They tend to lack social, communication or courting skills and may feel entitled that their fantasy of a loving relationship is inevitable. Feeling entitled and/or deserving of a relationship with the victim inspires the stalker to gradually increase their frequency of contact. Although similar to the Intimacy Seeker stalker, incompetent suitors are more gradual in their means and methods of contact.
V. Predatory Stalkers: Of the five types, the predatory stalker is by far the most dangerous and determined. This type of stalker is motivated by a perverted sexual need. They engage in actively planning an attack and premeditate as the predator how he will go about engaging in a sexual act(s) with his victim. They do not have feelings of love for their victim nor motivated by a belief of predestination. Their fuel to dominate and victimize resembles the sociopath experiencing little to no remorse for the welfare of their victim.
Understanding the types of stalker and what motivates them is the first step in reducing the probability of becoming one of their victims. Unfortunately, many men, women and society in general minimize the stalker profile and mistakenly view these people as “unfortunate souls looking for love.” What people fail to understand is most of these predators engaged in stalking suffer troublesome psychiatric illnesses, psychological issues, or motivated by urges to sexually dominate their victim(s).
Every year in the United States alone, over 1 million women and 370,000 men are stalked. Roughly 80% of women and 65% of men know the identity of their stalker. Regarding stalking activity, more than 66% of stalkers engage in pursuit of their victim at least one time weekly. Cyberstalking and online predators are new dangers since the birth of the Internet twenty years ago. People ranging in age from children to seniors now use the Internet for a multitude of reasons. As millions of people use Information and Communications Technology (ICT), millions more will become victims.
As of 2013, most states have cyber stalking, cyber harassment and cyber bullying laws and/or include Information and Communications Technology within their traditional stalking or harassment laws. Protecting minors from online bullying and harassment have led states to enact cyber bullying laws. Cyberstalking is the use of Information and Communications Technology to stalk and refers to a pattern of threatening or malicious behaviors. Cyberstalking may be considered the most dangerous of the three types of information and communications technology harassment, based on posing a credible threat of harm. Legal sanctions range from misdemeanors to felonies and vary by state.
Cyber harassment differs from Cyberstalking in that it is defined as not involving a credible physical threat. Cyber harassment usually pertains to threatening or harassing messages using Information and Communications Technology to torment an individual, group or organization. Some states approach cyber harassment by including language addressing electronic communications in general harassment laws, while others have created stand-alone cyber harassment statutes.
Cyber bullying and cyber harassment are sometimes used interchangeably, but cyber bullying is used for electronic harassment or bullying among minors. Recent cyber bullying legislation reflects a trend of making school districts the policy enforcers of cyber bullying. As a result, statutes establish the infrastructure for schools to handle this issue by amending existing school anti-bullying policies to include cyber bullying and cyber harassment among school age children. The majority of these state laws establish sanctions for all forms of cyber bullying on school property, school buses and official school functions.
However, some have also extended sanctions to include cyber bullying activities that originate off-campus, believing that activities off-campus can have a detrimental and disruptive effect on a child’s learning environment. The legal sanctions for cyber bullying range from misdemeanors to felonies with detention, suspension and expulsion from school.
Cyber bullying is a generic term used to define harmful, repeated and hostile online behavior intended to deprecate a targeted online user. Cyber bullying describes threatening or disparaging communications delivered through ICT. Whereas classic bullying typically involves face-to-face interactions and non-digital forms of communication, cyber bullying consists of information exchanged via ICT and may never involve face-to-face encounters.
Bullying or classic bullying is a term used to define recurrent and sustained verbal and/or physical attacks by a child, adolescent or adult towards others who are unable or unwilling to deescalate the engagement. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault, coercion, intimidation, humiliation and taunting. Bullying is comprised of a combination of four basic types of abuse: emotional, social, verbal and physical abuse. Despite variants in definition, bullying always involves the use of harassment, force or coercion to affect a targeted victim. Classic bullying requires face-to-face interactions within the repertoire of behaviors.
Among the billions of online users, lurks a dangerous element the unsuspecting person may fall victim to. Cyberstalkers and online predators are two groups who access the Internet seeking harmful interactions. In most Cyberstalking events, the assailant is termed an iPredator defined by this writer as follows:
iPredator: A child, adult, group or nation who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, stalking, theft or disparagement of others using information and communications technology (ICT.) iPredators are driven by deviant sexual fantasies, desires for power and control, retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance or personal and financial gain. iPredators can be any age, either gender and not bound by socio-economic status or race or national heritage.
iPredator is a global term used to describe all online users who engage in criminal, deviant or abusive behaviors using information and communications technology. Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber criminal, online sexual predator, internet troll or cyber terrorist, they fall within the scope of iPredator. Each year, over one million women are stalked and 350,000 men. Stalking is a serious problem and can lead to dangerous consequences for the victim.
Stalking and Cyberstalking also falls under the theoretical construct of Dark Psychology, coined by this writer. Dark Psychology is the study of the human condition as it relates to the psychological nature of people to prey upon others. All of humanity has this potential to victimize other humans & living creatures. While many restrain or sublimate this tendency, some act upon these impulses.
Dark Psychology seeks to understand those thoughts, feelings and perceptions that lead to predatory behavior. Dark Psychology assumes that this production is purposive and has some rational, goal-oriented motivation 99% of the time. The remaining 1%, under Dark Psychology, is the brutal victimization of others without purposive intent or reasonably defined by evolutionary science or religious dogma.
With the advent of the internet, a new environment now exists for Cyberstalkers and online predators. Millions of children, teens and adults create billions of internet exchanges daily. With the addition of cell phone and text messaging, the daily exchange number reaches the billions. Digital technology, telecommunications and the cyberspace environment are now hunting grounds for online predators and iPredators.
Cyberstalking was predicted as inevitable for 15 years, but only recently have parents, young people and community agencies started to focus on this growing problem. To exemplify how this warning has been explained for well over a decade, the Department of Justice (DOJ) authored and released the 1999 Report On Cyberstalking: A New Challenge For Law Enforcement And Industry 12 years ago and is a report defining cyber stalking, the dangers to children and cyber stalking resources. In this report, the DOJ is not only thorough, but prophetic as well. They clearly stated the problems of cyber stalking and predicted the number of online predators would increase with each passing year.
It is 12 years later, and the DOJ was correct in their predictions. Although the resources they provide are all highly reputable with excellent information, Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA), National Center for Victims of Crime, Cyber Angels and National Cybercrime Training Partnership are four organizations with incredible resources and educational tools.