Nature & Prevalence of Stalking Among New Zealand Mental Health Clinicians

Slack Inc
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services, 2007, 45 (4), pp. 32 - 39
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Stalking involves recurrent and persistent unwanted communication or contact that generates fear for safety in the victims. This pilot study evaluated the nature and prevalence of stalking among New Zealand nurses and physicians working in mental health services. An anonymous questionnaire asking respondents to describe their experiences with 12 stalking behaviors was distributed to 895 clinicians. Results indicated that regardless of discipline, women were more likely than men to have experienced one or more stalking behaviors, including receiving unwanted telephone calls, letters, and approaches; receiving personal threats; and being followed, spied on, or subject to surveillance. Women also reported higher levels of fearfulness as a consequence of stalking behaviors. Nearly half of the stalkers were clients; the remaining were former partners, colleagues, or acquaintances. In client-related cases, the majority of respondents told their colleagues and supervisors first, and the majority found them to be the most helpful resource. The results of this pilot study indicate a need for further research focused on the stalking of mental health clinicians in New Zealand and for development of workplace policies for adequate response to the stalking of mental health clinicians.
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