Different Types of Stalkers
Whenever we talk about serious crimes, such as arson or murder, we use these terms in a very general sense. What I mean is that if we take the crime of arson, for example, there are many different types of arsonists out there. The criminal justice system recognizes serial arsonists and pyromaniacs. Both of these people commit arson, but serial arsonists and pyromaniacs have different motivations to commit arson. The same holds true for murder. Once again, the criminal justice system recognizes different types of murderers, ranging from mass murderers, serial murderers, and murderers who kill then commit suicide. Just like arson, there are many different types of murderers, each with different motivations. However, they all commit murder.
Stalking is no different than arson or murder in that there are many different subgroups of stalkers out there according to the website stalkinghelp.org, the website where this article’s information comes from. Each stalker, therefore, has different motivations that drive them to stalk. In last week’s article, I gave the reader a brief introduction as to what stalking is, who stalkers are, and who the victims are. Today, I continue this introduction by describing a few types of stalkers and what behaviors they show toward their victims.
The first type of stalker I will describe is the rejected stalker. Most of us sometime in our lives have engaged in a relationship with a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Sometimes, these relationships work out and the partners get married and lead a happy life together. Sometimes, relationships do not work out, and the partners go their separate ways to explore different people. When relationships go sour and partners break up with one another, both partners have to cope with the sorrows of breaking up. Like the popular sixties song says, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” but, with the passage of time, wounds heal and people move on.
Sometimes partners find it very hard to let go, as was the case between Melissa and me. It may be due to the person’s mental state of mind. Once the relationship has ended, the rejected person wants “to be in a relationship with the victim again or seek revenge on the victim” (stalkinghelp.org). Because the rejected person believes that their ex-partner was the only love in their life, the words “I don’t want to see you anymore” does not register with them. In order to win the ex-partner’s love back, therefore, the rejected person begins to stalk them. We call these stalkers rejected stalkers. These people may show signs of egoism, jealousy, low self esteem, dependence of others, and lack communication and social skills (stalkinghelp.org).
In order to understand why this type of person stalks, we need to analyze these characteristics. If a person is highly egotistical, they believe that the world revolves around them and that everybody else is wrong. If, for example, a person breaks up with an egoist, the egoist wonders how anybody could possibly break a relationship with them (unless they’re cheating, of course). Rejected stalkers have high levels of jealousy. During the relationship, they always want their partner nearby every minute of the day. If the partner visits their friends for the evening, or simply goes to the mailbox for five minutes, the rejected stalker would lead him or herself to believe their partner is cheating on them. The rejected stalker’s suspicions would be, to him or her, corroborated when their partner breaks the relationship off.
Rejected stalkers also have feelings of humiliation, are overly dependant on others for help, and have very poor communication skills. The reason might be because the rejected stalker had abusive parents, or went through some sort of abuse in school. If abuse was part of the rejected stalker’s life, they definitely have low self esteem because people were constantly putting them down throughout their life. As a result, they are not confident people which lead them to depend on others for help throughout their life. Due to this lack of self-esteem and confidence, the stalker lacks communication and social skills because they fear that whatever they say, others might put them down or make fun of them. Thus, when the rejected stalker enters into a relationship with another person, the stalker believes he or she is being accepted by that person. If that person cuts the stalker out of their life by breaking off the relationship, the stalker would feel that his or her life was over and would do anything to get back with the partner; even go so far as to seek revenge (stalkinghelp.org).
Quite similar to rejected stalkers, resentful stalkers base their stalking on revenge, but revenge for a different reason. Suppose, for example, this person was the “nerd” in high school. He used to sit in the front of the class, not get into any trouble with the teachers, do all his homework in a timely manner, and be a perfect angel. As a result, some of his classmates were jealous of him and wanted to make his life a miserable hell. They would put him down all the time, write harassing letters and hang them on his locker, spread rumors about him, and do other horrible things until the time he graduates. It affected him so much and so long that whenever he goes into a social setting with other fellow peers, he is worried that they will pick on him again.
He became employed with company XYZ. He seems to be fitting in quite nicely, until a few of his colleagues starts to harass him and pick on him. Since his high school years traumatized him so much, it brings back bad memories. By this time, he has enough of the harassments and he takes matters into his own hands. He begins to stalk those who are harassing him in order to make them fear him, but also to seek his revenge on them; because when they “pick” on him, he sees the same people that “picked” on him in high school.
This example is the type of feeling that a resentful stalker feels. All their life people constantly harassed them or humiliated them in front of others. Over time, the more this person is harassed, the more paranoid they become, and the more they say enough is enough (stalkinghelp.org). According to stalkinghelp.org, these stalkers want to scare their victims because the victim has upset the stalker so much that the stalker wants to seek revenge on them. They do this because they look at the victim and see the very same people that harassed the stalker in the past. These stalkers are more likely to view themselves as the victim rather than the perpetrator (stalkinghelp.org).
Sounds like revenge stalkers and resentful stalkers are the same, but have different names. The difference between the two is that the revenge stalker stalks intimate partners while resentful stalkers stalk colleagues or complete strangers (stalkinghelp.org). Even though their goals are relatively the same, their victims and motivations differ dramatically.
Finally, erotomaniacs are the most interesting types of stalkers. I remember reading portions of a novel written by a doctor who was stalked by an erotomaniac (the name of the book, however, escapes me). The only thing she did to initiate the stalking was offer her patient, the erotomaniac, some advice on a medical condition. The patient started to believe the doctor was in love with him; that began a horrific chain of events that plagued the doctor for the next few years.
As stalkinghelp.org tells us, the erotomanic “believes that he is loved by the stalking victim. He believes this even though his victim has done nothing to suggest it is true, and may have made statements that she does not and never will love him” (stalkinghelp.org). It may be a simple smile, a simple hello, or a simple act to spark an erotomaniac to stalk. The good news, however; is that the chances of anybody being stalked by an erotomaniac are very small.
Erotomaniacs suffer from a wide range of mental illnesses. These illnesses include paranoia, delusions, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder (stalkinghelp.org). Most of the time, if these stalkers get psychological treatment, more often than not, they stop stalking individuals (stalkinghelp.org).
This article only focused on three of the many groups of stalkers out there. However, out of all the groups of stalkers, they have one thing in common. Most of these stalkers suffer from some type of mental disorder. Most of these conditions by themselves are treatable with either medication or therapy. During the course of my research, I stumbled across a statement which made me think. The statement went something like this: if funds for mental institutions increased, we would see a decrease in stalking related offenses.
I sense a theory beginning to develop.
If you would like more information about the various types of stalkers out there, visit www.stalkinghelp.org to see a full list of the types of stalkers out there. The next few weeks will begin to explore a little bit deeper why stalking begins. Here is the schedule (which could change without notice) for the weeks to come:
September 18, 2006: What is the link between domestic violence and stalking?
September 25, 2006: What to do if you are being stalked?
October 9, 2006: Rehabilitation programs for victims.
October 16, 2006: Rehabilitation programs for stalkers: are there any?
IF THE SCHEDULING CHANGES, I WILL POST A REVISED SCHEDULE ON THE MONDAY THE BLOG WOULD HAVE BEEN POSTED.
Resources for Victims of Stalking. Types of Stalkers. Retrieved September 4, 2006 from: www.stalkinghelp.org.
These stories that are told on this blog are true. The names have been changed to protect the true identities of those individuals involved. If you would like to respond to this blog entry, please click on the envelope next to comments underneath this article. On the screen that appears, enter your name and your email address. Under "friend's email address" enter Senorgetman@yahoo.com. I will only accept emails under this fashion. DISCLAIMOR: THIS WEBSITE BY NO MEANS OFFERS LEGAL ADVICE TO VICTIMS OF STALKING AND DOMESTIC ABUSE. IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY A VICTIM OF STALKING AND/OR DOMESTIC ABUSE, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IMMEDIATLEY.