SHSU Study: One-Fifth of Texans Have Been Stalked

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Nearly one in five Texans questioned by Sam Houston State University researchers say they'd been stalked during a recent two-year period.

The study's by the Crime Victims Institute at the Huntsville school's Criminal Justice Center and is believed to be the first on stalking in the state. It reports three-quarters of those victims experienced emotional and-or other personal problems.

The survey questioned 701 randomly chosen Texas residents last spring.

The 18 percent who reported being stalked reported an overall 453 stalking incidents over the 24 months covered by the survey. The most frequent manifestation was repeated telephone calls, as reported by 35 percent of victims. That's followed closely by 34 percent of victims who said their stalker stole items from their house, car or workplace.

Others reported getting threatening phone calls, being spied on at home, having their vehicle tampered with, having unwanted contact with their stalker who waited for them outside their home or work -- and getting their house, car or business broken into by their stalker.

The most common reaction was anger, followed by sleeplessness. Other effects included loss of concentration, fear of being alone and feelings of helplessness.

Sixteen percent of victims were men and 20 percent women. Nearly half of the male victims said their stalker was a man. Among women, 59 percent said they were stalked by a man.