Women

One in Six Women Will Be Victims of Stalking, Says Obama. Another False Crimewave?

Justice Department data says just 2.2 percent of U.S. women experience even mild stalking behavior each year.

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Patrik Nygren/Flickr

President Obama has declared January 2017 to be National Stalking Awareness Month. "Every year, stalkers deny too many people the comfort and safety they deserve, violating our basic expectation of dignity and respect for all," starts the presidential proclamation, issued December 28. "This month, we join together in support of victims to raise awareness of this threat and reaffirm the importance of ensuring every person can live free from fear of violence, harassment, and any form of stalking."

That all seems innocuous enough, the kind of feel-good pronouncement that means little in terms of concrete action but won't do much damage, either. But then Obama drops this: approximately one in six women and one in 19 men will be victims of stalking. Seems a little high, no? According to Obama's unsourced statistic, more than 16 percent of U.S. women will be stalked in their lifetimes.

The closest thing to such a fact among federal data comes from a 2014 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, based on data collected in 2011 through the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS). The 2011 NISVS data encompasses interviews with 12,727 American adults, who were asked about their experiences with rape, sexual assault, sexual coercion, and stalking. Based on those interviews, researchers concluded that "an estimated 4.2 percent of women and 2.1 percent of men were stalked in the 12 months preceding the survey," and "an estimated 15.2 percent of women and 5.7 percent of men have been a victim of stalking during their lifetimes."

But "stalking" as defined by the CDC may fall short of many people's idea of stalking. In the agency's estimation, physically following someone or surveilling them by other means isn't a prerequisite for being a stalker; simply sending an unwanted text, social-media message, email, or phone call will do.

Certainly, a string of unsolicited and unwelcome communications from someone could rise to the level of stalking. Messages that are menacing, or persistent, may elicit the same feelings of fear and anxiety that being physically stalked engenders. But for the CDC's purposes, unwanted communications must merely occur once to be counted as stalking. Ditto for someone approaching a "victim" unsolicited on just one occasion. Here's how the poll primed respondents for the stalking questions:

I'm going to ask you some detailed questions about times when you may have been contacted, followed or harassed. When answering, please think about anyone who may have done these things to you, including romantic or sexual partners, other people you knew, or strangers. Please do not include bill collectors, telephone solicitors, or other sales people.

Respondents were then asked how many people had ever watched or followed them from a distance; spied on them with an electronic device; broke into their homes or cars just to "let you know they had been there"; approached them in public when they didn't want to be approached; left them an unwanted text or voice message; contacted them with an unwanted phone call; sent them unwanted email, Facebook, or Myspace messages; or given them unwanted letters or gifts. The CDC summary report claims that respondents must have experienced more than one type or instance of these behaviors from the same perpetrator to have been counted as stalking victims, but a questionnaire described as the direct survey text contains no follow-up questions about stalking after these that would determine prevalence from the same perpetrator or emotional states of victims.

In an older report, the Department of Justice (DOJ) relied on a slightly less expansive definition of stalking than the CDC. For DOJ counting purposes, stalking behaviors—this includes "making unwanted phone calls, sending unsolicited or unwanted letters or e-mails," following or spying on the victim," showing up at places without a legitimate reason," waiting at places for the victim, "leaving unwanted items, presents, or flowers," and "posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth"—must have occurred on two or more separate occasions and the target must have felt fearful for their own safety or that of a family member.

Using this rubric, data collected as part of the 2006 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) led to an estimate of 3.4 million U.S. stalking victims annually. With a U.S. adult population of about 220,995,170 in 2006, that puts the prevalence of stalking victims at about 1.5 percent each year.

"The most common types of stalking behavior reported by victims were receiving unwanted phone calls from the offender (66 percent), receiving unsolicited letters or email (31 percent), or having rumors spread about them (36 percent)," according to DOJ. Broken down by gender, 2.2 percent of women and 0.8 percent of men were estimated to experience stalking in a given year.

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  1. How come no one ever stalks me??

    1. 1 in 6 is the approximate ratio of attractive vs why bother in the general north american female population – this was a highly funded study and took into account the general drunkness and low standards of the common male house ape. More to the point when did “trying hard” become catergorized as stalking?

      1. If a woman tells you to fuck off and you continue contacting her anyway, that’s stalking. And it’s incredibly stressful and creepy. Much has been made of women overreacting to benign overtures from men, but here’s the thing a lot of guys don’t get: you don’t weigh the possibility of being raped or even killed every time you interact with someone. Women do. That may sound paranoid to you, but from a woman’s POV that’s just basic common sense, like locking your doors at night. The average man can overpower the average woman, and the vast majority of rape and sexual assault victims are female. If the woman hasn’t been raped or assaulted herself, she most likely knows someone who has. Rape and sexual assault are incredibly traumatizing–the vast majority develop PTSD, and most victims are forever changed by the experience. So women look for behavior from men that can signal a higher-than-normal chance of impure intentions, and openly staring is one such behavior. It’s probably innocent, but what if it isn’t? She can’t read his mind, and she has little reason to gamble her physical safety especially if her instincts are telling her not to. Would you encourage your daughter to chat up the dude staring at her butt on the subway everyday, or catch a movie with the guy who keeps calling her and sending her presents when she told him to stop?

  2. In the agency’s estimation, physically following someone or surveilling them by other means isn’t a prerequisite for being a stalker; simply sending an unwanted text, social-media message, email, or phone call will do.

    In other words, everybody on Earth is both a stalker and stalked. Thank you for that lovely bit of precision, CDC.

    1. It like the whole “if you would fail a DUI breathalyzer then you were too drunk to consent to sex” nonsense all over again. It basically made everyone a rapist but teetotallers.

      1. “Hey, that’s not a breathalyzer!”

        1. “That’s not my gold-plated 25-pin connector!”

      2. It basically made everyone a rapist but teetotallers.

        Who were already rapists for other reasons.

      3. If that were true then much of my marriage has been hella legally problematic.

        1. Yeah. I always have to get drunk when I have sex with your wife as well.

          1. That wasn’t my wife. Damn, no wonder my dog is afraid of you.

            1. Whatever it was I made it wear a hockey mask.

              1. Well, that explains why we can’t get him to go on walks anymore.

    2. This.

    3. Look. Just because I happen to follow Dahlia Derriere on the Facebook doesn’t mean I’m stalking her, FFS.

    4. “Hello”
      “Stalker!”

      Turning every “unwanted” interaction into a crime.

      Many are simply incapable of getting out of their own feelz and asking whether society could function if it took their prescriptions seriously.

      Even “the male gaze” is held to be an assault.

      Shut up! Avert your eyes!

  3. “President Obama has declared January 2017 to be National Stalking Awareness Month.”

    Yeah, let’s see Trump try to revoke *that!* He’ll only have ten days.

    ALTERNATE JOKE: I think after Snowden, *every* month is Stalking Awareness Month.

    Is it a coincidence that the International Stalkers’ Anthem was by a band called The Police?

    1. The State is stalking six out of six people, male or female.

    2. Is it a coincidence that the International Stalkers’ Anthem was by a band called The Police?

      Well, something had to replace a Mexican in a turbin?

  4. sending unsolicited or unwanted letters or e-mails

    So I’m being stalked by thousands of spambots?

    1. You mean you, of all people, didn’t like those emails offering you a deal on V!@gra?

      1. Sweet’n’Low is a Cialis man, Eddie.

    2. A revised report from 2012 notes that the first report on the 2006 data was wrong b/c it counted 130 cases of people saying they were stalked by spam emails

      1. That is hilarious. But, really, what are you supposed to do when a spambot drives slowly by your house late at night to see if you are home from your blind date?

        1. That was one of Lifetime’s better movies.

          1. Did you know they remade Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? but this time*****SPOILER ALERT*****the boyfriend is a vampire.

            1. Oh, wait… the LUG is a vampire.

            2. Written and directed by James Franco? That’s… something.

              1. Wait, he’s literate?

        2. Ok, I laughed at that.

        3. But, really, what are you supposed to do when a spambot drives slowly by your house late at night to see if you are home from your blind date?

          This is why I laughed at the story.

          In my life. Women do the “drive by”. I don’t know men who do. But I’ve known so many women who do.

          Actually, it’s the same for domestic violence. I’ve never hit a woman. None have ever hit me. But a number of women I’ve known have stories of *them* being violent. A knife here. A punch that sprained a wrist there.

          In college, I witnessed a female friend give her boyfriend a shove at the top of a staircase. Witnessed, as in, I was right behind her as we started going down the stairs. He was tall, and caught himself on the ceiling of the staircase as he started to stumble down. The look of disgust he gave her – not surprise – was priceless.

          We’re still laughing about it 30 years laters.
          Female on male violence is so funny!

    3. Well, people do post unwanted comments about some of my posts. Since I’m sole arbiter of my heckler’s veto, what do I win?

      1. A lifetime supply of Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat.

        1. Rice-a-Roni. What does that mean? A play on rice and macaroni, I assume, but what’s it all about? And why San Francisco? Racism?

          1. Don’t deconstruct me, you swamp Derrida.

            1. I just looked it up. It’s totally legitimate. I’m in shock.

              1. Oh, yeah. A year’s supply of it was the prize on some old game show.

                1. Pasta and rice? Don’t be absurd.

                  1. The Chicken goes pretty well with a grilled salmon.

                2. Oh, yeah. A year’s supply of it was the prize on some EVERY old game show.

      2. You win blue hair and 3 cats.

  5. Can this idiot say anything without lying. That’s all progs do

    – Like your doctor, you can keep it (and your premiums will go down)
    – Wage Gap Myth
    – 1 in 4 college assault myth
    – now this stalking myth

    Yeah gee your positions are so fucking great you have to lie to make a case for it

    1. Last time I argued about the sexual assault on campuses lies with a progressive, they eventually conceded the numbers were suspect, but that I was wrong for defending men accused of rape and convicted in college campus kangaroo courts because they aren’t sympathetic figures. Why would I defend their due process rights, basically. The number doesn’t matter.

      1. all the left has is hatred then. They hate men and white people so whats to denying them rights and due process. So what if an innocent person is railroaded.

        So to them, innocent people arn’t sympathetic, until you know their race or sex.

        That person is pure evil. They would be the same railroading blacks a hundred years ago after a white girl accused them of rape

        1. The fundamental organizing principle of the modern Left is hatred of white men.

  6. President Obama has declared…

    that he is Putin’s bitch?

    1. No, that Drumpf is.

      You sound jealous

      1. Drumpf

        much clever. so humor.

  7. I sincerely doubt one in six women are worth stalking. More like one in thirty.

  8. A girl named ‘Andie’ stalked me in high school.

    True story.

    1. Stop spreading rumors about Andie, you stalker.

    2. “girl”
      yeah uh huh

    3. Yuh, had a couple here. I’d welcome them now.

  9. 15% is also less than 1 in 6, in case people care about math.

    1. Math class is tough!
      — Teen Talk Barbie

  10. Obama: Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah.
    Rufus: I’m sorry. Did you say something? Here. Have some shredded endives with sun dried tomato and Calabrese olives spread.

    /sticks endive in Obama’s mouth.

    1. Fine. Non-shredded.

      Fricken nit-picking nerds around here scare me.

    2. That’s quite a euphemism, Rufus.

      1. Go healthy I always say.

  11. I’ll be willing to bet that the one-in-six number is accurate, but a significant part of that percentage is just STEVE SMITH, so…

    1. STEVE SMITH CURRENTLY STALKING EVERYONE IN NORTH AMERICA.

    2. In a world of Warty and STEVE SMITH, the 1-in-6 number starts looking low.

      1. Warty doesn’t stalk, they come to him, drawn by the first real man they’ve ever seen in their life.

        1. I dunno, I still don’t trust the DOOMCOCK, even if Warty is innocent blameless not technically fully at fault. Who knows what that thing gets up to when no one is looking, given what it gets up to when people are?

          1. Oh, no. I agree. The Doomcock has over 3,000,000 programmable stalking modes. It can even show up at your sister’s wedding blind drunk and demanding to make a toast.

    3. Since Hillary lost the election, Bill is free to walk the streets. One in six is just what he’s going to account for.

  12. Let’s get to the real question.

    The closest thing to such a fact among federal data comes from a 2014 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report,

    What part of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates a mandate to delve into social behaviors and modification?

    1. Eh, they’ve been involved in social & behavioral stuff for a while now. Because psychology and mental illness and stuff like that.

    2. What were they supposed to spend the money on, an answer to Zika?

    3. Everything’s an epidemic now, didn’t you hear?

  13. “President Obama has declared January 2017 to be National Stalking Awareness Month. ”

    Hmm. Coincidentally, the month that Obama is *supposed* to leave the White House.

    Should we be concerned about Obama stalking the new resident?

    1. He just wanted the Trumps to sample his rabbit stew!

  14. President Goalposts moves goalposts. Film at 11. Proggy redefinition of “stalking” means that if someone follows your Twitter account in order to say mean things to you, you’re being “cyberstalked.” Probably a terrorist too. Why not? That word hardly means anything anymore either.

  15. Perpetual emotional entombment feeds dragons of false and modifiable realities.

    Conniving guilds of society-designers and liberty-oppressors teem morbidly within musty Hegelian caverns devoted to the redistricting of perception and consciousness.

    The yawning gateway into the human soul most easily distracted and bent for exploitation is the goddamn human emotional state and its rich affiliation with hysteria.

    1. Do you publish your own blog site? Would be rather cool to post these free-form, faux haiku-esque elocutions on a daily basis, under your own banner. The plethora of dubious and deceitful headlines, and not excluding this site’s naive and accidental stumbles in statist excuse-making, make for fish in a barrel.
      What a nice shtick to hammer the children of all ages at Yahoo or Huff, Salon, Atlantic…. and I do mean ‘children’ of all ages. Not sure on the design or layout but you’re creative enough. I know I’d go there often; your handle is seductive enough.
      Mind you, this one wasn’t one of your best but even when you miss, it ain’t by much.

  16. By this definition I was a stalker while at university and I had a victim. There was a girl I was good friends with and had kind of liked but never made a move on. Her sister and some mutual friends kept encouraging me to ask her out, so I finally did and she readily consented. But between when I asked her out and when she showed up for our date, it suddenly clicked that maybe I liked her and she flipped out and told me that she felt “violated” because I had been her friend and she told me things as a friend about other guys. If this sounds weird, it was. Her sister apologized for how stupid she was being.

    I would have fallen under this definition because I called her about a week later for something and she went through the roof, asking how I knew she was home. I told her I didn’t, but was just, you know, calling to see if she was available to talk. I was furious because I hadn’t done anything, but she jumped to me being a stalker, even though I was in a windowless room on the campus and had no way of surveilling her.

    She eventually calmed down after her sister told her to knock it off and that she had encouraged me to ask her out.

    So according to this, this girl was a victim and I was a perpetrator, even though I did nothing, because my phone call was unwelcome to her and she thought it was stalking. Even though she was fine with me after a few weeks’ reflection and we were cool with each other (although I was then permanently friend-zoned).

    1. Even though she was fine with me after a few weeks’ reflection and we were cool with each other (although I was then permanently friend-zoned).

      A shame, because you know the sex would have been amazing from that amount of crazy.

      1. Yeah, but a definite hit it and quit it. And then he could get stalked.

      2. A shame, because you know the sex would have been amazing from that amount of crazy.

        I suspect from the protracted, feelings-oriented relationship-based post that could be summed up in one sentence, there were a lot of potential crazies and a lot of friend-zoning happening.

    2. You….stalker! Probably a rapist as well! To the re-education camp with you!

    3. You are just so lucky to be out walking as a free man.

      *going to college in the 80’s was a helluva lot more fun….

    4. You totally shagged the sister, didn’t you?

      1. Did you ever see her and her “sister” together at the same time?

    5. So how did you really know she was home?

  17. Reminds of the early 1980s, when I was told that 80% of working women had been forced to copulate with their male bosses to avoid being fired. The “proof” for this was a survey in which 80% of respondents had reported “unwanted sexual attention” at work. So “unwanted sexual attention” somehow equalled “being forced to fuck the boss.”

    1. Just like the supposed college rape stats.

      One in 5 women receive some sort of unwanted touching (which I wouldn’t be too surprised at) becomes 1 in 5 get raped at college.

  18. Fact: it’s not stalking if you merely rummage through someone’s trash.

    1. Or their underwear drawer while they’re not home.

    1. I’ve recently concluded that most people never had them to lose in the first place.

      Try it. You’ll find that a lot of conundrums instantly evaporate when you do.

  19. Stalking Awareness. Basically government is telling you that you can only be 100% mentally healthy if you are constantly paranoid.

    1. The only thing worse than being paranoid is finding out you are not.

  20. By stalking, Obama wasn’t referring to the NSA was he?

    1. I’ve been stalked by a guy named Clapper for years.

  21. What about women that keep calling after they’ve been told it was a one-night stand? Were they stalking me?

    1. Not if they’re just announcing the result of their HIV test.

    2. Absolutely! But to become a victim, you will have to identify as “other than male”. Any one of the others will do, but you cannot be male.

      1. Will gender fluid do?

        Male normally, but identifying as trans lesbian when I want to traipse through the women’s locker room.

  22. So if you text or email a girl to chat them up and try to strike up a relationship….stalking. No wonder they got such high numbers. Not necessary to text them 500 times to get on THIS list.

  23. I was apparently a stalker, for a while. But only once, so I don’t think I hurt the stats too much. Of course, based on that definition, I think quite a few men are stalking victims too.

  24. One in Six Narcissistic Women Will Often Believe Themselves to be Victims of Stalking, Says Obama Leading Narcissist.

  25. Fake news from the alt-left

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