There is a real and significant connection between stalking and intimate partner violence. Stalking often co-occurs with intimate partner violence and can be an indicator of other forms of violence. Stalking can be a way to exert power and control during and/or after an abusive relationship. Abusive partners who stalk are more likely (than abusive partners who do not stalk) to verbally degrade, threaten, use a weapon to attack, sexually assault, and/or physically injure their victims. Stalking is the number one indicator that physical abuse is in the future.
Below is a story from a survivor about their experience with stalking:
My abuse began with stalking. I found myself looking over my shoulder increasingly often, feeling like I must not be trustworthy. My abuser came to my job(s), my friend’s homes, and other places he would find me. I had no idea I was being stalked. I thought he loved me. This looked and even felt like love to me. I did not know that this is the foundation of abuse, power, and control. I did not know anything about boundaries or personal space. I did not know how it felt to be treated as trustworthy. I remember the time he showed up at my apartment unexpectedly while a friend of mine was bringing me and my baby some groceries. Words were exchanged between the two of them at my front door and the next thing I know she is being shoved up against a brick wall with his hand around her throat. The guilt and shame I felt for that happening to her caused more isolation than had already begun with other friends and family. Stalking is abuse. It is a red flag to let us know that physical abuse is highly likely in the future. It was in my future that day.
Stalking is a significant issue affecting more than six million people each year. Most survivors do not recognize they are being stalked because 40% of stalking victims are stalked by current or former intimate partners. 57% of intimate partner stalking victims are stalked during the relationship. 74% of those stalked by a former intimate partner report violence.
If you suspect that you have been in a situation where you are being stalked, please know that Safenet is here to help, and we are here to help guide you through this. Visit our Safety Resources page to learn more https://www.safenetservices.org/safety-resources/ or call 918-341-1424.