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Types of stalker

Stalking falls into five main typologies

Understanding the motivations of individual stalkers can help efforts to challenge and eradicate stalking behaviours.

The 5 Stalking Typologies

Rejected Stalker

Stalking typically arises after the breakdown of an intimate relationship, although family members or others with whom the stalker once shared a close bond may also be targeted. The initial motivation of the rejected stalker is to either attempt to mend the broken relationship or to seek vengeance for what they perceive as rejection.

Why Do People Stalk?


People who stalk claim a range of justifications. They might feel they've been wronged and want to get their own back. They might be unable to accept the end of a relationship. They might want to start a relationship with someone they don’t know or who isn’t interested in them. They might be a sexual predator or they might believe something that isn’t true, because they have a serious mental disorder. They might manipulate others into helping them.

At the heart of stalking is the mistaken belief that one person can justifiably force another person to listen to what they have to say, pay them attention or do what they want them to do.

Some people know what they’re doing is a criminal offence but are unable to consider the consequences. Others wrongly believe they have good reason to behave the way they do. However, regardless of what justifications a stalker offers, if their behaviour directed at another person, is repeated and unwanted, and could cause fear and alarm, then it’s likely to be a serious criminal offence, with severe consequences.

This is because the law says that there is no justification for stalking. Society regards it as a completely unacceptable way to interact with others.

*We describe stalking as a repeated pattern of fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repeated behaviour by one individual to another, which causes the victim to suffer fear or alarm. ‘Gang stalking’ (where one person is allegedly targeted by a group of known and/or unknown people with a group purpose) is not something which is recognised by the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (Sec 39). Action Against Stalking are therefore unable to offer any advice or support on this area.

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