"It's not really stalking if you know the person": measuring community attitudes that normalize, justify and minimise stalking

Bronwyn Mary McKeon, Troy Erin McEwan, Stefan Luebbers

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27 Citations (Scopus)


It has been hypothesised that attitudes minimising, justifying and normalising stalking exist in the community, influencing whether or not stalking is recognised, and potentially affecting the responses of police and others to whom victims turn for support. This study investigates the nature of these attitudes as measured using the Stalking Related Attitudes Questionnaire (SRAQ). Two hundred and forty-four community members and 280 police officers in Victoria, Australia (total sample 61 male, mean age=43.3, SD = 13.3) completed the SRAQ. Full information factor analysis identified three underlying stalking-related attitudes: ?stalking isn t serious?, ?stalking is romantic? and ?victims are to blame?. Males endorsed all to a greater extent than females, whereas police and community only differed in that police believed stalking to be more serious. Stronger stereotype endorsement was related to judgements of not guilty in a fictional stalking case. These results indicate that attitudes and beliefs that downplay, excuse and normalise stalking behaviour can be measured, and have some influence on recognition of stalking behaviour
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291 - 306
Number of pages16
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology & Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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