New data reveals one in five women 'have experienced stalking'

One in five women have experienced stalking in their lifetime, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The In Focus: Crime and Justice Statistics released on Wednesday revealed 1.6 million women in the country had been stalked.

Of those women, only about 11 per cent were stalked by women compared to about 94 per cent stalked by a man.

The data also found one in 13 adult men, or 663,800, had experienced stalking at some point in their life.

The figures come out of a personal safety survey in 2012, which collected information from men and women aged 18 years and over.

Both men and women were found more likely to be stalked by someone they knew – but men saw it as a crime more often when being stalked by another man.

Women, however, were likely to perceive stalking as a crime at all times- whether it was a male or female.

However, less than half of all people experiencing stalking reported the matter to police

Director of the ABS’ National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics William Milne said men were also less likely to contact the police if the stalker was a woman.

“Men were less likely to perceive stalking as a crime, less likely to experience anxiety or fear, and less likely to contact the police if the stalker was a female compared to a male,” Mr Milne said.

"In contrast, for women, the sex of the stalker had no impact on their likelihood of perceiving stalking as a crime, experiencing anxiety or fear, and contacting the police.”

Of those who reported, forty-two per cent of women contacted police when being stalked by another female, compared with 37 per cent who reported male stalkers.

Only 21 per cent of men reported female stalkers to police.

Stalking behaviours referred to in the survey included loitering, watching and following, interfering with or damaging a person's property, leaving offensive material for the person, being contacted by phone, emailed or sent letters in the mail with intent to harm or frighten.