Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows how stalking disproportionately affects women

Women are disproportionately affected by stalking, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.
Women are disproportionately affected by stalking, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.

Women are disproportionately affected by stalking, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data analysis shows.

The 2012 Personal Safety Survey results showed women were more likely to experience fear or anxiety a year after being stalked. One in five women have experienced stalking – with 94.5 per cent by a male person – while one in 13 men have been stalked.

ABS national centre for crime and justice statistics director William Milne said men were equally likely to experience stalking by either sex.

“Men were less likely to perceive stalking as a crime, less likely to experience anxiety or fear, and less likely to contact the police if the stalker was a female compared to a male. In contrast, for women, the sex of the stalker had no impact on their likelihood of perceiving stalking as a crime, experiencing anxiety or fear, and contacting the police.”

Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West chief executive officer Emily Lee-Ack said the analysis clearly showed the gendered nature of the stalking, with the crime disproportionately a form of violence against women.

“Stalking is also a form of domestic violence, and often forms part of a pattern of behaviours that, when taken together, indicate the presence of a severe threat to the victim,” Ms Lee-Ack said. “With women at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner, it is not surprising that women are more likely to experience anxiety and fear from stalking – but it’s certainly very concerning. This analysis clearly shows the need for the investment and ongoing work that organisations like ours are undertaking.”