Reactive stalking: a new perspective on victimisation

Paul Bocij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although much has been learnt about the psychological and physical harm caused to victims of stalking and cyberstalking, relatively little is known about the impact of stalking on social behaviour and relationships. This paper argues that victims of stalking sometimes go on to employ stalking behaviours against others. Although often arising from an instinctive need for self-protection, such reactive stalking can be defensive or offensive in nature. Those who engage in such behaviour may do so from a need to assert control over their lives, or from fear of further victimisation. In pursuing this argument, a case study is used to illustrate the behaviours described. The case study focuses on the experiences of three stalking victims and describes attempts to victimise the author during his research. The article also discusses some of the implications of reactive stalking for the criminal justice system and the way in which victims receive support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Forensic Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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