Intimate partner violence and stalking behavior: exploration of patterns and correlates in a sample of acutely battered women

Violence Vict. Spring 2000;15(1):55-72.

Abstract

The aims of this study were to provide descriptive data on stalking in a sample of acutely battered women and to assess the interrelationship between constructs of emotional abuse, physical violence, and stalking in battered women. We recruited a sample of 114 battered women from shelters, agencies, and from the community at large. Results support the growing consensus that violent and harassing stalking behaviors occur with alarming frequency among physically battered women, both while they are in the relationship and after they leave their abusive partners. Emotional and psychological abuse emerged as strong predictors of within- and postrelationship stalking, and contributed a unique variance to women's fears of future serious harm or death, even after the effects of physical violence were controlled. The length of time a woman was out of the violent relationship was the strongest predictor of postseparation stalking, with increased stalking found with greater time out of the relationship. Results suggest the need to further study the heterogeneity of stalking and to clarify its relationship to constructs of emotional and physical abuse in diverse samples that include stalked but nonbattered women, as women exposed to emotional abuse, and dating violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Missouri
  • Obsessive Behavior / epidemiology*
  • Obsessive Behavior / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence / psychology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*