Researchers from the Law Institute of the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences carried out the study “Stalking and Its Relation to Domestic Violence: Perception, Prevalence and Response in Lithuania” (PERARA), which was funded by the Research Council of Lithuania under the competitive priority research programme “Welfare Society”. The main goal of the project – to examine the phenomenon of stalking in Lithuania – was supported by a large number of institutional partners, such as the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, the National Courts Administration, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Prison Service (former Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania). The competitive priority research programme “Welfare Society” is intended to fund complex scientific research on the assumptions of welfare society and its development in Lithuania.

Stalking is considered a serious public health issue as well as a harmful form of victimization, causing severe physical, social and psychological consequences to the victim. Most stalking cases are closely related to the issue of domestic violence. Recently, stalking has become highly prevalent, especially due to the rapid growth of digital technologies. According to representative national surveys, the rate of stalking in Western countries is high: one in every five women and one in every ten men has been stalked at some point in their lives. In addition, research findings show that when confronted with stalking behaviour, police officers or other officials, as well as those who are stalked, are often unaware of the gravity of the situation and, as a result, frequently deny or minimise the significance of stalking. The aim of the first study on this topic in Lithuania was to examine the perception and prevalence of stalking in Lithuania, to review existing response options, and suggest possible means for their improvement.

The project’s empirical study was divided into four sections:

  1. A survey on a representative sample of Lithuanian residents.
  2. An analysis of court decisions on stalking related criminal cases over the period of 2016-2020.
  3. A survey of representatives from the law enforcement agencies (police officers, prosecutors, probation officers) and judges.
  4. A focus group discussion with victim support specialists and policy makers.


The research results were presented at scientific and public events and in various publications:

  • scientific publications:
    • Laurinaitytė, I., Michailovič, I., & Jarutienė, L. (2022). Asmens persekiojimas Lietuvoje: tyrimų ir praktikos situacijos analizė (Stalking in Lithuania: The analysis of research and practice situation). Scientific study. Law Institute of the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences (short summary in English);
    • Laurinaitytė, I., Michailovič, I., & Jarutienė, L. (2022). Dealing with stalking cases in Lithuania: The role of public perceptions and legal response. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 40(5), 660–676. DOI: 10.1002/bsl.2597;
    • Laurinaitytė, I., Michailovič, I., Jarutienė, L., & Zokaitė, J. (2021). Persekiojimo kriminalizavimo ir teismų praktikos ypatumai Lietuvoje (The criminalization of stalking and characteristics of court practices in stalking cases in Lithuania). Kriminologijos studijos, 9, 77–99. DOI: 10.15388/CrimLithuan.2021.9.3 (abstract in English).

The team of the project researchers consisted of Prof. Dr. Ilona Laurinaitytė (Project Leader), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ilona Michailovič and PhD student Liubovė Jarutienė.

Duration of the project: 01/02/2021 – 31/12/2022.

The budget of the project was EUR 100,000.

The project was funded by the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT), Contract No. S-GEV-21-4.

The author of the photo – Rita Kazanavičiūtė.