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There is an almost total lack of empirical research on stalking among juveniles.
To examine the characteristics, nature and impacts of stalking by juveniles.
Analysis of consecutive court applications for a restraining order against a juvenile because of stalking behaviours.
A total of 299 juvenile stalkers were identified. The majority were male (64%) and their victims predominantly female (69%). Most pursued a previously known victim (98%), favouring direct means of contact via unwanted approaches (76%) and telephone calls or text messaging (67%). Threats (75%) and physical and sexual assaults (54%) were common. The contexts for juvenile stalking involved an extension of bullying (28%), retaliation for a perceived harm (22%), a reaction to rejection (22%), sexual predation (5%) and infatuation (2%).
Juvenile stalking is characterised by direct, intense, overtly threatening and all too often violent forms of pursuit. The seriousness that is afforded to adult forms of stalking should similarly apply to this behaviour among juveniles given the even greater rates of disruption to the victim's life and risks of being attacked.
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