1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men will be stalked in their lifetimes. January is stalking awareness month, 2020 is the 16th Annual National Stalking Awareness Month. The goal is to raise awareness of stalking within local communities. Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories. In 2004 the National Center for Victims of Crime launched National Stalking awareness month to increase the public’s knowledge of how stalking is a crime. As well as helping develop and implement responses to the crime.

Stalking Prevention Awareness and Resource Center, https://www.stalkingawareness.org/

Stalking can look very different between cases. The act, however, is a “series of actions that make you feel afraid, distresses or in danger.” According to the Stalking Prevention Awareness and Resource Center” or SPARC. Stalkers can be anyone, but many have a connection with their victim. The person could be: a former or current romantic partner, a family member, or acquaintance. Only about 5% of reports of stalking are done by strangers.

Celebrity stalking is a form many people have heard about. In 2019 Taylor Swift, Channing Tatum, John Myer, and Natalie Portman all took stalkers to court. Stalking is not just a crime committed against the famous. It is a dangerous and serious crime anyone can be the victim of and is currently impacting the United States and our communities.

Domestic and Sexual violence is now more openly discussed, and the signs have become more recognizable for most. Stalking can take many forms, for instance following, having unwanted contact or sending unwanted gifts. Showing up and or waiting for a person at work, school, home. Being threating, spreading rumors, harassing you, just to list a few examples.

A stalking victim’s entire life can be altered by a stalker. Psychological issues like anxiety can develop, loss of time at work or school.

In severe cases a victim can be forced to get a court order or even move, change jobs or their identity. If a victim goes unsupported stalking may sometimes lead to death. “3 in 4 women are killed by an intimate partner that was stalking them,” According to SPARC.

It is important to be aware and create strategies if you or a love one feels you are being stalked. If you are in imminent danger call 911. Trust your instincts; if something doesn’t feel right or you feel unsafe you could be. What should you do if you feel as if you are being stalked? Document everything, share your concerns with trusted people at work, school, home. Reach out to local victim service providers. These resources can help you formulate a plan and to support you through the submitting of court documents.

“If you feel you are being stalked please do not hesitate to reach out to Women Helping Women located in West Union and providing free rural services for Adams and Brown Counties. They can be reached at 513.381.5610,” says Women Helping Women’s Rural Advocate Davina Cooper.

Additional local resources are:

Adams County Sheriff

Women Helping Women


Stalking Prevention Awareness and Resource Center, https://www.stalkingawareness.org/

The education of the general public can help combat stalking by bringing awareness to what it is, how it looks, and prevention strategies. Talk to each other in our community, and be willing to hold our community leaders accountable for being leaders in recognizing the need for education and passing of policies that help combat this serious crime.


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