January is Stalking Awareness Month
Stalking is a crime! Are you being stalked? What should you do?
Here’s a quick quiz that will open your eyes about the crime of stalking.
Q. How many people are stalked each year?
A. Over 3.4 million people in the U.S. are affected by the crime of stalking annually. The Bureau of Justice statistics says each year an estimated 14 of 1,000 people age 18 and over are stalked.
Q. How many states have laws against stalking?
A. Stalking is a crime in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, yet many victims and criminal justice professionals underestimate its seriousness and impact.
Q. How many victims know their stalkers?
A. As many as 75% of victims are stalked by someone they know. Many of the people served by The Wellspring’s Domestic Violence program are stalked by their abusers.
Q. Does stalking really affect the victim?
A. Victims suffer anxiety, social dysfunction, and severe depression at much higher rates than the general population, and many lose time from work or have to move as a result of their victimization. Stalking is one of the significant risk factors for homicide or women in abusive relationships (American Journal of Public Health, 2003)
Q. Isn’t stalking when someone follows you?
A. Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate and prosecute. Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts, a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause that person fear. Stalking may take many forms, such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary, or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts or visits.
Q. Only really savvy stalkers use technology, right?
A. 1 in 4 victims report that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, global positioning system devices, or hidden cameras, to track the victim’s daily activities.
Q. If you ignore a stalker, he or she will go away, right?
A. In studies, ignoring a stalker is not highly associated with stopping the stalking. January is observed as National Stalking Awareness Month. You can learn more about stalking by visiting the Stalking Resource Center’s website or by checking out the publications below:
WHERE TO GET HELP:
For more information, or help for stalking, contact the Family Justice Center during normal business hours-
620 Riverside Drive
You can also call the 24/7 crisis phone line at 888.411.1333.