January is national stalking awareness month
January is National Stalking Awareness Month. Nearly 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point in their life.
Stalking is defined as a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. It occurs in many different forms, including being followed/approached, unsolicited and repetitive phone calls or texts, unwanted notes or gifts, as well as showing up at the targeted person’s workplace or home.
Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, U.S. Territories, the District of Columbia, and military and tribal lands. Although, the crime of stalking is often misunderstood, minimized and/or ignored.
Stalking is a terrifying and psychologically harmful crime as well as a predictor of other forms of serious violence. In 85% of cases where an intimate partner or ex intimate partner attempted to murder their partner, stalking took place in the year prior to the attack (SPARC, 2019).
The behaviors used to stalk are manipulative tools used to gain power and keep control over another person. Victims of stalking often feel isolated, intimidated, fearful, and vulnerable.
Tips to consider if you or someone you know is being stalked:
1. Trust your instincts. Many times we tend to downplay a stalker’s behaviors, but stalking can possess a real threat.
2. Keep a record or log of any contact a stalker makes.
3. Since stalking can occur through technology, save emails, text messages, voicemails, or any posts online for evidence.
4. Contact your local domestic violence agency to create a safety plan.
5. Call 911 if you feel you are in danger.
We, at Jana’s Campaign, believe we all have a role to play in identifying and preventing stalking behaviors as well as supporting victims and survivors. Learn more about these behaviors and how to prevent stalking by visiting www.stalkingawareness.org.
Jana’s Campaign is a national education and violence prevention organization with the single mission of reducing gender and relationship violence. In honor of the late Jana Mackey and other victims and survivors of gender and relationship violence, Jana’s Campaign delivers comprehensive educational programming that prevents domestic and dating violence, sexual violence and stalking.