Preventing Stalking

Stalking is a public health problem that affects millions of women and men in the United States. Stalking occurs when someone repeatedly harasses or threatens someone else, causing fear or safety concerns. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) reports that about 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men have been stalked at some point in their lives.1

Survey data show that most victims were commonly stalked by someone of the opposite sex, an intimate partner, or someone else they knew. Stalking tactics can include unwanted phone calls, voice messages and text messages; being approached; or being watched, followed or tracked by the perpetrator. About 68% of female and 70% of male victims experienced threats of physical harm during their lifetime.2

Age of First Victimization

Nearly 54% of female victims and 41% of male victims experienced stalking before the age of 25. While most women and men first experience stalking victimization as adults, approximately 21% of female victims and 13% of male victims reported experiencing stalking victimization as minors.

Age at Time of First Stalking Victimization1

Age at Time of First Stalking Victimization

Breakdown by Age

Women Men
Under 18 21% 13%
18 to 24 33% 28%
25 & up 45% 59%

Opportunities for Prevention and Action

It is important for everyone to work together to end stalking. Survey findings highlight the importance of early prevention and support efforts, which can include:

  • Empowering everyone to understand, recognize, and address stalking
  • Mobilizing men and boys as allies in prevention efforts
  • Creating and supporting safe environments within relationships, schools, and communities through programs and policies that reduce risk and promote healthy relationships

 Learn More

About NISVS

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) is an ongoing, national survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It collects information on intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual violence (SV) and stalking from adult women and men in the United States. CDC uses data from NISVS to learn more about the prevalence, impact, and health consequences of IPV, SV and stalking. Findings also inform and improve prevention efforts.

References

  1. National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2015 Data Brief
  2. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010-2012 State Report Cdc-pdf[4.32 MB, 272 Pages, 508]
Page last reviewed: November 19, 2018