Friday, January 16, 2009

What does Stalking mean?

This morning we talked with Melissa Scaia from Advocates for Family Peace, Amanda Eason from Itasca County Alliance Against Sexual Assault and Laura, a victim of stalking.

January is National Stalking Awareness Month, and when they do things like that - create a month to talk more about an issue - it's a sign that we don't know enough about it.

Here's some startling facts:

1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lives.

1.4 million people are stalked every year in the United States.

76% of the women killed by their partners were stalked by their partner before their deaths.

The definition of stalking:

Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention, harassment and contact. It is a pattern of conduct that can include:

  • Following the victim
  • Appearing at the victim's home or place of work
  • Making unwanted and frightening contact with the victim through phone, mail and/or email
  • Harassing the victim through the Internet
  • Making threats to harm the victim, the victim's children, relatives, friends or pets
  • Sending the victim unwanted gifts
  • Intimidating the victim
  • Vandalizing the victim's property
  • Securing personal information about the victim by accessing public records, hiring private investigators, using Internet search services, contacting friends, family, work or neighbors, or going through the victim's garbage.
There's lots of information online about how to know if you are being stalked, and also how you can help your local agencies and victims.

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