According to Wikipedia, Stockholm syndrome is:

a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.

Is there an equivalent "psychological phenomenon" in which a victim of stalking gives in, for want of a better phrase, and develops positive feelings towards their stalker, potentially to the point of entering into a romantic relationship with them?

  • $\begingroup$ Yes and no. I was stalked for 10 years! It was a steady escalating process from workplace bullying to gaslighting to sabotage of my vehicle to constant following ambushing and interception at various social junctures to near attacks being poisoned. Eventually the stalker got ill and his activity ceased. I missed the stalking not the stalker. He had addicted me to the endorphins which body produced when I was frightened. I call this abuse addiction. It's like Stockholm Syndrome but different. $\endgroup$
    – user11026
    Mar 15, 2016 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ It is possible..perhaps not in the truest sense where the 'stalkie' truly loves the stalker, but certainly where the target cannot get rid of the stalker, (especially in a work-collesgue situation, where he is always boasting of "connections" in the company). One's 'polite button' is pressed in the 'on' position, so persistently, the perceptions break down. Even a weird dependence can develop. (Gag me, as this is first hand experience). Well things don't go the guy's way (i.e., intimacy), and he starts gaslighting. If ever caught instigating others against me, it's always, "I never said I was $\endgroup$
    – Mona Lana
    Oct 6, 2017 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ Looking at the suffering Elizabeth Fritzel, whose father raped her repeatedly, and kept her in the basement dungeon atea he'd dug out....Elizabeth eventually "settled into" what "normalcy" she could if only for the sake of her children....had by her father....leds the one he killed. She'd earned his trust. Convinced him of the importance of getting her eldest daughter to a hospital due to serious infection. (She slipped a note of "Help-for rescue" in her daughter's pocket, once it was allowed by him). So in all cases where a person doesn't feel safe to do the "normal" thing, one does what has $\endgroup$
    – Mona Lana
    Oct 6, 2017 at 6:52
  • $\begingroup$ @MonaLana - Welcome and thanks for the interesting (and quite shocking) answer above. I've converted it to a comment though as it doesn't seem to answer the question whether a victim of stalking can develop feelings of affect for that person. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Oct 6, 2017 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ @MonaLana - Hi Mona and welcome again. Thanks for your personal story - it is truly heart breaking. However, I'm afraid it doesn't answer the question - it is more of a post describing your own experiences, which are not targeting the question. Personal stories can make great answers, but in this case I don't see any hint that your post addresses the question, i.e., if a stalked victim develops feelings of affect. Therefore, unfortunately, I'll have to delete this post. If you find this site interesting, please take the tour in the help center and I hope to see you again here. All the best. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Oct 6, 2017 at 7:38

2 Answers 2


I haven't seen any publication discussing Stockholm Syndrome in relation to stalking, but I have seen the syndrome discussed in relation to domestic violence. I reproduce below the criteria for occurrence in cases of domestic violence

  1. The victim perceives a person threatening her survival. The threats may be physical or psychological. It is not important whether others view her survival as threatened, but rather whether she does.
  2. The victim perceives the abuser showing her some kindness, however small. For example, the kindness may be that for one day out of the month he does not abuse her.
  3. The victim is isolated from outsiders. This isolation may be physical—she is not permitted to have contact with family or friends—and/or ideological—she is permitted exposure to only the abuser’s perspective.
  4. The victim does not perceive a way to escape the abuser. Batterers use violence to help ensure that their partners do not leave them.

In my opinion, it could also happen in cases of stalking... however criterion 3 (victim isolation) seems much less likely to happen in cases of stalking. However, stalking is known to increase the social isolation of the victim in some circumstances (altering her/his pattern of social interaction to avoid the stalker), so stalking could potentially lead to 3... but again, I'm just theorizing off the top of my head.


  • NA Jackson (ed.), Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence, Routledge, 2007

In rare cases, the stalked person may actually like the attention of the stalker. This may be hard to accept to stalked victims, and especially if you are a woman, because [male] stalkers can be dangerous and terrifying. Yet, it can happen to stalked men and women that they actually experience some sort of positive emotions from having a stalker, because they may feel liked, adored, or famous. It can even be a status symbol of importance.


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