Matthew Raj, a Bond University researcher, has called for women who had been victims of stalkers to participate in the world's first study that seeks to develop an action plan to ward off dangerous stalkers.
Women who are willing to participate should be 18 years and above. The survey will only be conducted online. It will be directed to come up with proper actions to take when being victimized by stalkers, including cyber stalkers.
Raj told The Australian that there is one among five women in Australia that has been stalked at some stage, compared to 7.8 percent of men. The victims may ignore their stalkers, close their social media accounts, or take extreme legal actions. But there is no study showing when it is best to take the initiative against these stalkers.
"Until now, there's been no evidence-based research undertaken into when it is best to take action. This survey will allow us to see what actually works and how quickly it stops the behaviour in different circumstances," Raj said.
With the study, future stalking victims, victim support groups and law enforcers will be educated significantly about the rampant problem with stalkers. The results are expected to be published by December 2014. Stalking is generally perceived as an obsession commonly misinterpreted as love.
Stalkers can also be classified into different types:
1. Simple Obsession Stalkers - stalkers who became stalkers when the person they are in relationship with wanted to call off the relationship. They generally believe that without the person, they cannot survive in the world.
2. Love Obsession Stalkers - stalkers who "love from a far" and believe that they have relationship with the person they are obsessed about.
3. Intimate Partner Stalkers - according to the National Victim Center, a stalker can be a very intimate partner who is:
- Socially maladjusted and inept
- Emotionally immature
- Often subject to feeling of powerlessness
- Unable to succeed in relationship by socially acceptable means
- Jealousy bordering paranoia
- Extremely insecure about themselves
- Often suffering from low self-esteem
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