Intimate Partner Stalking: Economic Harm Caused

This Web page is based on Research on Partner Stalking: Putting the Pieces Together (pdf, 27 pages), prepared by T.K. Logan for NIJ.

On this page, find:

Economic Harm to Intimate Partner Stalking Victims

In addition to fear, distress and health problems that result from being stalked, the economic security of partner stalking victims is also at risk.

  • Some research suggests that employment is associated with stalking victimization and found that employed victims experienced twice as many stalking tactics and were stalked three times longer than unemployed victims. [1] [2]
  • Stalking victims frequently lose time from work, have actually lost a job, or are unable to take advantage of employment opportunities such as promotions or obtaining a better job due to the stalking. [3-8] For example, partner stalking victims lost about 78 hours of productivity time (mostly time from work), on average during the 6-month follow-up period after receiving a protective order compared with 18 hours for those that experienced ongoing violations but not stalking, and 4 hours for those who experienced no violations or stalking. [9]
  • In addition to lost jobs and/or time from work, other consequences of stalking can jeopardize employment. [10-12] For example, partner violence victims who had ever been stalked by their violent partner reported (1) more direct on-the-job harassment (e.g., showing up at work, calling, lying to co-workers, harassing co-workers), (2) indirect job disruption (e.g., feeling too upset or stressed to work or continue working, sabotaging childcare arrangements or the car) and (3) indirect job performance interference (e.g., trouble concentrating at work) than partner violence victims who reported never being stalked. [13]
  • Stalking victims also report significant property damage and other financial harm (e.g., ordering items in the victim's name, ruining credit). [14-18] Partner violence victims who experienced violations and stalking after a protective order was obtained incurred an average of $610 in property loss or damage during the 6-month follow-up period, compared with $135 for those who experienced ongoing violations but not stalking, and $15 for those that experienced no violations or stalking. [19]
  • Costs are also incurred for other reasons, including (1) safety reasons, such as devices to increase security (e.g., alarms) and changing residences; (2) legal fees; and (3) health and mental health treatment. [20-25]

Costs to Society of Intimate Partner Stalking

Although few studies have examined the cost of partner violence to society, the few that have suggest that partner stalking is costly, although estimates to date are likely to be underestimates.

  • Researchers estimated that partner stalking cost $342 million in 2003 dollars for lost productivity and mental health care. This is likely to be a significant underestimate given that several significant cost categories were not included. [26]
  • Researchers also estimated the cost of partner violence before and after a civil protective order was obtained against a male partner. The cost estimate included: (1) direct health, mental health and victim services used to cope with partner violence; (2) justice system costs; (3) lost productivity; and (4) property damage. Costs were then extrapolated to all those who obtained a protective order in 2007. [27]
    • For the estimated number of female stalking victims who obtained civil protective orders in 2007, partner violence and stalking cost the state about $9 million. Because this estimate only includes stalking victims who obtained a protective order in a one-year period (and not all those being stalked by a partner or those who had prior protective orders) this number is likely to be an underestimate. [28]
    • Partner stalking cases cost the state significantly more money than partner violence cases with ongoing protective order violations and more than cases with no protective order violations. [29]


[note 1] Nicastro, A., A. Cousins and B. Spitzberg, "The Tactical Face of Stalking," Journal of Criminal Justice 28 (2000): 69-82.

[note 2] Mustaine, E., and R. Tewksbury, "A Routine Activity Theory Explanation for Women's Stalking Victimizations," Violence Against Women 5(1) (1999): 43-62.

[note 3] [note 20] Blaauw, E., F. Winkel, E. Arensman, L. Sheridan and A. Freeve, "The Toll of Stalking: The Relationship Between Features of Stalking and Psychopathology of Victims," Journal of Interpersonal Violence 17(1) (2002): 50-63.

[note 4] [note 16] [note 22] Kamphuis, J., and P. Emmelkamp, "Traumatic Distress Among Support-Seeking Female Victims of Stalking," American Journal of Psychiatry 158(5) (2001): 795-798.

[note 5] [note 18] [note 23] Logan, T., J. Cole, L. Shannon and R. Walker, Partner Stalking: How Women Respond, Cope, and Survive, New York: Springer Publishing, 2006.

[note 6] [note 10] [note 13] Logan, T., L. Shannon, J. Cole and J. Swanberg, "Partner Stalking and Implications for Women's Employment," Journal of Interpersonal Violence 22(3) (2007): 268-291.

[note 7] [note 25] Melton, H., "Stalking in the Context of Intimate Partner Abuse: In the Victim's Words," Feminist Criminology 2(4) (2007): 347-363.

[note 8] Tjaden, P., and N. Thoennes, "Stalking in America: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey," Research Report, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998, NCJ 169592.

[note 9] [note 17] Logan, T., and R. Walker, "Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Harms Caused by Partner Stalking," Violence and Victims 25(4) (2010): 440-455.

[note 11] Swanberg, J., T. Logan and C. Macke, "The Consequences of Partner Violence on Employment and the Workplace," in Handbook of Workplace Violence, ed. K. Kelloway, J. Barling and J. Hurrell, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2006: 351-380.

[note 12] Swanberg, J., and T. Logan, "Domestic Violence and Employment: A Qualitative Study," Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 10(1) (2005): 3-17.

[note 14] [note 21] Brewster, M., "Exploration of the Experiences and Needs of Former Intimate Partner Stalking Victims," final report to the National Institute of Justice, grant number 1995-WT-NX0002, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1999.

[note 15] Brewster, M., "Power and Control Dynamics in Pre-stalking and Stalking Situations," Journal of Family Violence 18(4) (2003): 207-217.

[note 19] Logan, T., and R. Walker, "Civil Protective Order Effectiveness: Justice or Just a Piece of Paper?" Violence and Victims 25(3) (2010): 332-348.

[note 24] [note 27] [note 28] [note 29] Logan, T., R. Walker, W. Hoyt and T. Faragher,"The Kentucky Civil Protective Order Study: A Rural and Urban Multiple Perspective Study of Protective Order Violation Consequences, Responses, and Costs" (pdf, 183 pages), final report to the National Institute of Justice, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 2009, NCJ 228350.

[note 26] Max, W., D. Rice, E. Finkelstein, R. Bardwell and S. Leadbetter, "The Economic Toll of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States," Violence and Victims 19(3) (2004): 259-272.

Date Created: April 20, 2012