Anti-stalking legislation in practice: Are we meeting community needs?

Troy Erin McEwan, Paul Edward Mullen, Rachel MacKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anti-stalking legislation introduced across Australia and New Zealand during the 1990s reflected the numerous international constructions of stalking, and led to different legislative definitions in each jurisdiction. In the years since the last laws were introduced, mental health professionals have come to understand more about assessment and management of stalking situations, to the point where the recognised problem behaviour no longer fits each and every legal construct. This article reviews current New Zealand and Australian anti-stalking legislation in an attempt to clarify the different definitions of stalking that clinicians must be familiar with when working with these offenders. The authors also suggest modifications to current legislation that would provide for more effective assessment and treatment of stalkers, and reduce the frequency of stalking charges against individuals who are engaging in far less damaging harassing behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207 - 217
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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