January is National Stalking Awareness Month
The term stalking is sometimes used in a joking manner to express a curiosity, fondness, or infatuation for someone. This happens on social media. Movies or TV dramas also frequently romanticize stalking. Often stalking is portrayed as a persistent pursuing of a crush leads to a fairytale ending. However, stalking is not a joke or romantic. Stalking is a dangerous form of abuse that can have lasting consequences on victims and survivors. In fact, 1 and 6 women and 1 in 17 men will be stalked in their lifetime.
Stalking is a series of repeated actions that make someone feel afraid, distressed or intimidated. Actions that may seem
insignificant or harmless can escalate or lead to violence. In fact, 75% of domestic violence related homicides involve stalking.
Stalking is an underreported crime. In fact, less than 40% of stalking victims report the crime to law enforcement. Victims of stalking may feel apprehensive about reporting stalking for several reasons such as:
- Shame or guilt
- Fear they will not be believed
- Not understanding these behaviors are a crime
- Fear that reporting may escalate the behaviors
Someplace Safe advocates are trained and available to assist those who have questions or concerns about stalking.
Recently, a client shared her experience with stalking, stating that others dismissed her concerns, accusing her of being “crazy”. Someplace Safe was able to assist the client in obtaining a restraining order against her stalker, ultimately resulting in the stalking behavior coming to a stop. While expressing gratitude to her Someplace Safe advocate for believing and validating her experience, the client noted her trust for the advocacy staff, stating:
This survivor is not alone. Over the past year, Someplace Safe assisted 571 victims and survivors of stalking and harassment.
“Someplace Safe has helped relieve some stress, panic, and anxiety I am enduring from my Stalker.”- Survivor of Stalking.
“The advocate spoke to me as an equal. They helped me understand how to explain my situation and options on how to get out of it.” - Survivor of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Harassment and Stalking.
Stalking is real. Stalking is dangerous. If you or someone you know has been victimized by any crime or another form of abuse, please contact Someplace Safe. Services have remained available throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic and are available via video calls and telephone, as well as in-person services (appointments are suggested). Accessible services are also available, including interpreters, live website chat, and text message. Call 1.800.974.3359 or visit our website at www.someplacesafe.info for more information.
More stalking information and resources can be found at: https://www.stalkingawareness.org/stalking-awarene...
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