The influence of the sex of and prior relationship between the perpetrator and victim on perceptions of stalking: a qualitative analysis
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Place of Publication
School of Arts and Humanities
The sex of and prior relationship between the perpetrator and victim have been shown to influence perceptions of stalking. To explore the ways in which shared assumptions around these factors interact to shape perceptions of stalking, this study analyses the deliberations of mock juries as they attempt to reach a unanimous verdict on a hypothetical stalking case summary. Twelve mock juries comprising between five and six ‘jurors’ (n = 64) were presented with one of three versions of a case summary (stranger, acquaintance, and ex-partner) describing a man stalking a woman or a woman stalking a man. Thematic analysis shows that factors mitigating the perpetrator's behaviour and judgements about the victim's behaviour were key themes in all jury deliberations, but played only a minor role in shaping verdict decisions for a woman stalking a man. It is concluded that the boundary between ‘normal’ relationship behaviour and stalking is positioned differently for male and female perpetrators. Â© 2016 The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law.