Protection Against Pursuit: A Conceptual and Empirical Comparison of Cyberstalking and Stalking Victimization Among a National Sample

Matt R. Nobles, Bradford W. Reyns, Kathleen Talbot, Bonnie S. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


Cyberstalking is a relatively understudied area in criminology, with no consensus among scholars as to whether it represents a modified form of stalking or whether it is an entirely new and emerging criminal phenomenon. Using data from the 2006 Supplemental Victimization Survey (SVS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), this study compares stalking and cyberstalking victims across several dimensions, including situational features of their experiences and self-protective behaviors. Results indicate that there are significant differences between stalking and cyberstalking victims, including their number of self-protective behaviors adopted, duration of contact with their stalker, financial costs of victimization, and perceived fear at onset. Perceived fear over time, the occurrence of a physical attack, and sex of the victim were all associated with a higher number of self-protective behaviors for cyberstalking victims compared to stalking victims, net of the effect of the control variables. Implications for stalking theory, research, and criminal justice policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)986-1014
Number of pages29
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2014



  • cyberstalking
  • self-protective behavior
  • stalking
  • victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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