According to the Stalking Resource Center a segment of The National Center For Victims of Crime, about 7.5 million people are being stalked annually in the US. That number has grown considerably since the first governmental study on stalking in the late 90’s placed the number somewhere in the area of a little over a million people being stalked annually.
Unfortunately, currently fewer and fewer stalking cases are being prosecuted as stalking. In fact, when I contacted a colleague, Michelle M. Garcia, Director of The Stalking Resource Center, she advised that their research had shown that only about “5% to 16% of stalking cases are actually charged as stalking when police already have all the information they need to charge,” same. Director Garcia also advised that many times something other crime in lieu of stalking is charged. These could be rude or annoying phone calls, or digital contacts, other forms of harassment and/or vandalism. When in fact, all these crimes fit the criminal behavior generated by many stalkers and need to be incorporated into the actual stalking charge. Over the years, I have found this to be the case as well.
When I recently conducted three seminars on the topic of stalking for the CDAA (The California District Attorney’s Assn.), all the attending prosecutors were provided with a copy of my latest book, Antidote For A Stalker, so through out the course of the conference they would have a chance to pursue the book. That along with what I presented in the seminar assisted them in asking me questions that they may have had after being exposed to both the seminar and the book. Chapter 5 of the book discusses a specific stalking protocol that we have developed. We also touch on that during our presentation. Because of this I was contacted by several prosecutors who basically said, one of the reasons we don’t prosecute many stalking cases is because we do not get a case that has been investigated like the protocol in your book suggests. If we got more cases like that we would definitely prosecute a great many more stalkers. We have found that investigating a stalking case is not difficult, but it does take some man hours to properly develop. This along with following a set investigative protocol is the best way to approach a stalking case. As indicated before, too often it is easier for both the prosecutor and the detective to submit one of the lessor crimes associated with stalking like vandalism for prosecution than to work the case further and push for the stalking charge.