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Category: News

January 1, 2016

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Each year in the United States, 7.5 million people are stalked. Of that number, 61% of female victims and 44% of male victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner. [1] According to the U.S. Department of Justice, stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. [2]

January – National Stalking Awareness Month – is a time to raise awareness about this serious crime that is often underestimated or minimized. Stalkers often use weapons to threaten and harm their victims, and stalking is exceedingly prevalent in cases of domestic violence. Victims can suffer from anxiety, depression, social dysfunction, and many lose time from work or even have to move due to their victimization. [3] Unfortunately, despite the prevalence of stalking, it is a crime that is rarely charged. [4]

This January, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) continues to raise awareness about the intersection of domestic violence and stalking. Through our signature programs, we work to address these crimes and support victims:

  • WomensLaw.org provides multiple stalking-related resources, including state-specific information on stalking protection orders, Safety Tips for Stalking Victims, and more. Through our Email Hotline, WomensLaw staff also answers questions – in both English and Spanish – from survivors and advocates pertaining to stalking, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
  • Our Public Policy team works to protect victims and prevent stalking crimes. In June 2014, our Executive Vice President, Cindy Southworth, testified before Congress on how location privacy and transparency is crucial for victims of stalking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. We also work to improve legislative measures in order to protect victims, such as strengthening gun laws, which currently allow ownership of a firearm by stalkers convicted of misdemeanor stalking.
  • Through Safety Net, we work with state and U.S. territory domestic violence coalitions, advocates, and survivors around technology, stalking, and privacy. Many survivors are stalked through a range of technologies. Two-thirds of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method. [5] We educate advocates on how to safety plan with survivors around technology. We also provide in-depth consultations for law enforcement officers and technology companies about technology-assisted stalking and the implementation of new technologies.

Through all of our work, NNEDV strives to eradicate not only stalking, domestic violence, dating abuse, and sexual assault, but violence in all its forms.

Learn more about stalking from the National Center for Victims of Crime, Stalking Resource Center >>

Join the conversation on social media this month using #NSAM2016 >>  

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[1] National Center for Victims of Crime, Stalking Resource Center, Stalking Statistics and Data, available at https://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center/stalking-information/stalking-statistics  

[2] U.S. Department of Justice, Stalking, available at http://www.justice.gov/ovw/stalking  

[3] American Journal of Public Health, Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multi-Site Case Control Study, July 2003, Vol 93, No. 7

[4] National Center for Victims of Crime, Stalking Resource Center, Responding to Stalking: A Guide for Prosecutors, available at http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/default-source/src/stalking_prosecutorguide_hi.pdf?sfvrsn=0

[5] Stalking Resource Center, Stalking Fact Sheet, available at http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/src/stalking-fact-sheet_english.pdf