Prevalence of Stalking Victimization in Journalists: An E-Mail Survey of German Journalists


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Abstract

Certain professionals, such as health care personnel, have a higher risk of stalking victimization because of their professional activities. This study analyzed the lifetime prevalence of stalking victimization for journalists because they belong to a professional group that often works in public, demonstrates personal attitudes and opinions, and thus may easily become objects for positive or negative transferences. Four hundred and ninety-three journalists answered a standardized Internet questionnaire on stalking victimization. Twelve percent of respondents reported common stalking due to nonprofessional reasons, and an additional 2.2% reported apparently job-related stalking. In contrast to common stalking, job-related stalking victims were mostly male and took the perpetration less seriously, although they had the same risk of suffering violence and aggressive attacks. Since stalking can cause severe psychological distress in victims and some cases are at high risk for aggressive violence, better information for this professional group is necessary. Primary and secondary preventive strategies should be considered.

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