Physical and mental health effects of being stalked for men and women

Violence Vict. 2002 Aug;17(4):429-43. doi: 10.1891/vivi.17.4.429.33682.


Stalking is relatively common yet little is known of the longer-term health effects of stalking. Using the National Violence Against Women survey, we estimated lifetime stalking victimization among women and men, ages 18 to 65, identified correlates of being stalked, and explored the association between being stalked and mental and physical health status. With a criterion of being stalked on more than one occasion and being at least "somewhat afraid," 14.2% of women and 4.3% of men were victims. Among those stalked, 41% of women and 28% of men were stalked by an intimate partner. Women were more than 13 times as likely to be "very afraid" of their stalker than men. Negative health consequences of being stalked were similar for men and women; those stalked were significantly more likely to report poor current health, depression, injury, and substance use. Implications for victims, service providers, and the criminal justice system were reviewed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Harassment / psychology
  • Sexual Harassment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence