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Browsing by Subject "psychological consequences"

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  • Salo, Verna (2018)
    Object. Stalking can cause many psychological symptoms and social disadvantage. Abroad the criminal justice response to stalking varies from fine to a prison sentence. Besides the law, also perceptions of stalking can affect sentencing. Stalking was criminalized in Finland in the beginning of 2014, but there have only been a few studies regarding the case law of stalking and the factors affecting compensation. The aims of this study were to clarify the factors affecting the psychological consequences and the compensations of stalking, to examine the differences in convictions and sentencing in relation to demographic features of the defendant and to predict stalking convictions. Methods. Altogether we collected 246 verdicts of stalking cases from district courts in Finland. We analyzed demographic features of and the relationship between the defendant and the complainant, the psychological consequences of stalking and taken countermeasures, the longitude and ways of stalking and the convictions and compensations. The comparisons in compensations, convictions and sentencing were analyzed using t-test and chi square test. Logistic regression was used to examine the factors affecting psychological consequences and the sentencing of stalking. Results and conclusions. In Finland, the sentencing of stalking is based on the features of stalking, and the extra-legal factors did not affect the sentencing nor the convictions. The psychological symptoms caused by stalking affected the compensations, but the countermeasures did not. In the future it would be important to study the perceptions of stalking in policemen and prosecutors because the perceptional biases may affect whether the cases proceed to court. Also, by increasing the knowledge about stalking and its’ consequences one could ensure the sensitive encountering of the victim and the advising of the right kind to stop the stalking and documenting it for criminal investigation and for court.