Current Research

A validation of the Stalking Risk Profile

We undertook research to investigate the validity and reliability of the Stalking Risk Profile. Stalkers attending the Forensicare Community Forensic Mental Health Service’s Problem Behaviour Program were assessed using the Stalking Risk Profile and followed-up using police databases to ascertain subsequent stalking. This data was combined with data from SRPs scored retrospectively from file review and the findings published in the journal Assessment:

McEwan, T. E., Shea, D. E., Daffern, M., MacKenzie, R. D., Ogloff, J. R. P., & Mullen, P. E. (2018). The reliability and predictive validity of the stalking risk profile. Assessment, 25(2), 259-276.

Developing a reliable way to measure stalking victimisation and perpetration in community samples

Prof. Troy McEwan has led a team of researchers working on developing a quick but effective way of detecting stalking victimisation and perpetration anonymously in large samples. This has been a challenge for stalking researchers for many years and difficulties in ascertaining stalking in a reliable and valid way has limited the development of knew knowledge about stalking that could help us to combat it.

The Stalking Assessment Indices (SAI) are a set of two indices, one measuring stalking victimisation and the other perpetration. Each index includes 22 potential stalking behaviours and asks about the frequency of each during a period of unwanted pursuit. The SAI also gathers information about the duration of the  overall episode and uses a research-informed combination of the number of behaviours experienced, the duration of the behaviour, and the impact on the target (for the victimisation scale) to determine when stalking is likely to be present.

The SAI can be accessed for free by downloading from the link in this article:

McEwan, T., Simmons, M., Clothier, T., & Senkans, S. (2021). Measuring stalking: The development and evaluation of the Stalking Assessment Indices (SAI). Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 28(3), 435-461.

or by contacting Prof. Troy McEwan via Swinburne University of Technology.

This research was conducted with the support of the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Forensicare.

Development and evaluation of the Screening Assessment for Stalking and Harassment (SASH)

The Screening Assessment for Stalking and Harassment is a short tool designed for use by frontline workers such as police or health workers, to help them determine whether a particular stalking case requires more intensive response.

The first validation study of the SASH was published in the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management in 2017, based on its use within the Netherlands National Police:

Hehemann, K., van Nobelen, D., Brandt, C. & McEwan T.E. (2017). The reliability and predictive validity of the Screening Assessment for Stalking and Harassment (SASH). Journal of Threat Assessment and Management, 4(3), 164-177.

Investigating stalking-related attitudes and beliefs

Dr Bronwyn McKeon, a clinical forensic psychologist at Forensicare, has had an interest in better understanding the kinds of attitudes and beliefs that might be related to stalking behaviour for some years. With Profs Ogloff and Mullen, she developed the Stalking Related Attitudes Questionnaire (SRAQ) in the early 2000s as a measure of ‘stalking-myths’ in community members.  The original version of the SRAQ has since been used in research in the UK and Italy. After a pilot with Australian stalkers in 2010, the SRAQ was revised and in 2012 the new 63 item version was tested with a new community sample. In 2015 this research was expanded by undertaking an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of the full SRAQ to refine and determine the structure of the instrument, in addition to establishing construct and convergent reliability. Test-retest reliability is being assessed in a 2016 project and a new 22 item version, called the Stalking Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ), will be published in 2018. This program of research is the first step in developing an understanding of the types of offence-related beliefs and attitudes that might exist in stalkers and will hopefully lead to more research into stalking-related cognition.

McKeon, B., McEwan, T.E. & Luebbers, S. (2015). “It’s not really stalking if you know the person”: Measuring community attitudes that normalise, justify and minimise stalking. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 22(2).

This research is conducted with the support of the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Forensicare.

Stalking and intimate partner abuse

The association between post-relationship stalking and intimate partner abuse that occurs during a relationship is poorly understood and under-researched. Researchers at the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science have investigated this relationship by looking at intimate partner abuse during a relationship and stalking after its end, and the psychological characteristics associated with going on to stalk an ex-partner. The results of this research are summarised here:

McEwan, T.E., Shea, D.E., Nazarewicz, J. & Senkans, S. (2017). Re-assessing the link between stalking and intimate partner abuse. Partner Abuse, 8(2), 223-250

Senkans, S., McEwan, T.E. & Ogloff, J.R.P. (2017). Assessing the link between intimate partner violence and post-relationship stalking: A gender-inclusive study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication.

Understanding why stalking stops

Although there are plenty of theoretical accounts of why stalking starts, few people have considered why a person might stop stalking a particular victim. This is despite the fact that almost all stalking episodes do stop, usually within a year. Researchers at the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science are conducting qualitative research to explore what leads to the cessation of a stalking episode, and how this knowledge can help us to design more effective interventions to stop stalking.