Consequently, it is unclear whom law enforcement identifies as stalkers, for what activities, and how the criminal justice system responds to those identified. More important, it is unknown if the under-identification and charging of stalking make any difference, specifically whether or not they compromise victim safety and/or offender accountability.
The research was designed to answer the following questions:
- Are police fully identifying stalking cases from among reported domestic violence cases?
- Do stalking cases differ from general domestic violence cases reported to police?
- Does it make any difference if police identify a domestic violence case as stalking as opposed to any other domestic violence charges, such as assault or violation of a protective order?