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The experience of women survivors of stalking : subtitle suggestions for improving support systems Klassen, Chantelle

Abstract

Seven women who have experienced stalking, or criminal harassment were interviewed about the nature of their experience. Specifically, each participant was asked how they were impacted by the event and the ways that they managed the experience. Participants were also asked to comment on their recommendations for future services. Constant comparative method drawn from the grounded theory approach was used to guide the analysis process and to develop themes related to the narratives. Six major themes emerged from the collective discussions with the sample of female stalking survivors. These included: "Stalking as an Ongoing, Abnormal Event;" "Fearing the Unknown;" "Needing to Be Supported and Validated;" "Searching for Safety and Healing;" "Concern for Others;" and "Being Revictimized." Findings indicated that although participants found innovative ways to manage the negative impact of being stalked, additional support systems were needed. Participants described a variety of different stalking experiences, including post-intimate stalking, stranger stalking and acquaintance stalking. Commonalities related to the description of the event and its impact, as well as the methods of coping with the experience. Suggestions for improvement for future survivors of stalking are offered.

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