I’m not surprised at the number of people stalked. I think it’s something too many people do not take seriously or think people are overly sensitive when in fact it’s very dangerous.
I’ve been stalked twice in my life, once at age 21 and again at age 25. In both cases the police didn’t view it as stalking or harassment. Neither man was ever charged under any stalking laws. If I’m fortunate enough I’ll never be stalked again.
The first was some guy I’d never even met before who insisted I was his ex-girlfriend. He followed me everywhere, made harassing calls, and even showed up at my workplace for several weeks (that I know of). It ended when he followed me to a friend’s auto shop. When he tried to grab me upon entering the bay I dropped him with a punch to the throat (Props to my old Karate instructor!) before the shop mechanics proceeded to beat the crap out of him and call the cops. Guy ended up in jail for a couple years and left state last I heard.
The second was some guy who had tried to hit on me at a bus stop and I’d said no when he asked for a date. For three months the wacko followed me around, made calls, and sent letters. It ended when he made the mistake of trying to break into my house and ended up with my SKS’s barrel in his face and a nice set of handcuffs from the cops. Like the previous guy this one ended up in jail for a couple of years.
It’s really a sad state of affairs really that there are so many people harassed in this way. I suspect the stalking trend will grow given the popularity of the internet as stalkers use the net to find information on their targets or even search for new targets. It’s one reason I only give minimal information about myself online and refuse to post any pictures of myself or my family.