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Victims of stalking in India: A study of girl college students in Tirunelveli City

Author(s): Jaishankar Karuppannan | Kosalai Puthisigamani

Journal: Temida
ISSN 1450-6637

Volume: 10;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 13;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Stalking | Girl Students | Victimization | Eve Teasing | Sexual Harassment | Victims

The word 'stalking' was not commonly known in India, until Priyadharshini Mattoo's case (1996) hit the headlines. Eve teasing, a colloquial word for gender harassment is popularly known and Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Eve-Teasing Act, 1998 on that was developed after the brutal killing of a girl named Sarika Shah in Chennai. Though, stalking is there in the past, it was not acknowledged with this terminology and it was always merged with Eve teasing. On the other hand, stalking is much graver than Eve teasing and it is an obsessive behaviour. After the Matoo's case, the Indian Criminal Justice System awoke and the National Commission for Women is ready with a draft Bill (Sexual Assault Prevention Bill) to make the Indian Penal Code more effective against the menace of stalkers. Research studies related to stalking in India are sparse and there is a need to study this phenomenon in depth. This paper presents some results from a study of stalking victims among Girl College students at Tirunelveli City, Tamil Nadu, India. In-depth questionnaire data are drawn on to investigate the course and nature of prolonged stalking in 150 self-defined victims. Findings indicate a pattern of repeated intrusions, the stalking harassment methods, lack of reporting behaviour, and effects of stalking on the victims.
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