January is Stalking Awareness Month
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January brings attention to one of the terrifying acts of obsession and unwanted attention, stalking. In January of 2004, the National Center of Victims of Crime launched NSAM (National Stalking Awareness Month) to increase the public’s understanding of the crime of stalking.
Did you know that…
-Over 6.5 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.
-1 in 19 men and 1 in 6 women have experienced stalking victimization sometime during their lifetime.
-Most cases of stalking are by someone the victim knew.
-66% of female victims and 41% of male victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
-About 1 in 5 female victims and 1 in 14 male victims have experienced stalking between the ages of 11 and 17.
-11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 or more years.
Stalking is a crime in all fifty states. Behaviors related to stalking involve the harassment and intimidation of an individual and commonly include monitoring and following of the victim.
If you think you’re being stalked, there are a few things you can do. First of all, do everything possible to avoid all contact with the stalker, and be sure inform those close to you about what is going on. Is the situation worse than a minor annoyance and truly terrifying? Get a restraining order or peace bond. Do not go out alone and change up your routine to avoid activities that may be predictable to your stalker.
Report all incidents of stalking to your local police. The police will need evidence of stalking, so be sure to keep all physical evidence received. (i.e. letters, gifts, voice mails, and emails.) Also keep a detailed written log of dates, times, and locations you saw your stalker following or watching you.
Stalking is a serious matter. If you think you may be the victim of stalking, there are places like www.victimsofcrime.org/src that can help.