Johansen, K.B.H., Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, T.
The consequences of coping with stalking—results from the first qualitative study on stalking in Denmark
(2016) International Journal of Public Health, pp. 1-7. Article in Press.
Objectives: The purpose of this article is to explore: (1) how victims of stalking experience the phenomenon in their daily life, (2) how the nature of stalking informs the victim’s internal coping strategies, and (3) how the victims’ internal coping strategies negatively affect their daily life and well-being. Methods: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 victims of stalking. Thematic content analysis was employed, and themes were primarily identified inductively and broad into dialogue with concepts, such as Foucault’s panopticism. Results: The results of the study indicate that rather than the stalkers’ harassment itself; it is the unpredictability of the stalkers’ potential actions that inform the victims’ primary coping strategy—self-regulation. Self-regulation consists of various strategies victims employ to avoid the stalker. Our analysis shows that self-regulation as a coping strategy has social and psychological consequences for the victims, leading to various degrees of social isolation and apprehension. Conclusions: We conclude that it is necessary to consider how professionals advise victims to cope with their situation as how legal measures should focus on the security of victims. © 2016 Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+)
Consequences; Coping; Latent violence; Self-regulation; Stalking