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Reassessing the Link Between Stalking and Intimate Partner Abuse

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The relationship between intimate partner abuse (IPA) and postrelationship stalking is poorly understood and estimates of how often these behaviors cooccur vary widely. This article examines and consolidates findings from extant research and provides a rigorously ascertained baseline estimate of the prevalence of IPA among ex-intimate stalkers. One hundred fifteen male participants who stalked 118 separate victims were recruited from a specialist forensic clinic in Melbourne, Australia, between 2004 and 2007 and between 2010 and 2013. Prior IPA was ascertained using information from participants and police records of family violence incidents obtained in July 2014. Prior IPA against the stalking victim was identified in 39 cases (33.1%). Criminal history, prior physical violence to other victims, SCID-II diagnosed personality disorder, and sharing children were significantly associated with IPA during the prior relationship. Multivariate modeling showed that the combination of a history of violence toward other people and sharing children with the victim effectively discriminated between stalkers who did and did not engage in prior IPA (area under the curve = .74, 95% confidence interval of [.64, .83], p = .000). Findings are interpreted in light of existing causal theories of IPA and ex-intimate stalking. Areas for future research to facilitate better understanding of the relationship between these common and damaging forms of violence are highlighted.
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Keywords: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; INTIMATE PARTNER ABUSE; PARTNER ABUSE; PERSONALITY DISORDER; POSTSEPARATION ABUSE; STALKING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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