January is recognized as Stalking Awareness Month. According to the website, Stalkingawareness.org, statistics show that 1 in every 6 women and 1 out of 17 men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime. It is estimated that nearly 75% of all stalking victims know their stalker. It is also believed that nearly 66% of female stalking victims were stalked by a current or former intimate partner. Individuals between the ages of 18-24 have the highest rate of stalking victimization. Nearly half of all stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.
Stalking is defined as, conduct directed at a specific person with repeated visual or physical proximity (two or more occasions), non-consensual communication, verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person harm. It is important to note that the conduct must be nonconsensual communication in the form of verbal, written, implied threats, or a combination of these. The conduct must cause a reasonable person fear.
If you or someone you know is being stalked, know there is help available. Stalking survivors should also trust their instincts, change up their routines, find escape routes, and put safety plans into place. Installing security cameras, locking doors, and documentation are other steps to ensure safety. When reporting the threat of stalking, be sure to include specifics to law enforcement and keep a log of all of the incidents of stalking.
The Domestic Abuse Resource Center staff and volunteers are here to help if you are experiencing stalking. We provide a range of services that include assistance with reporting to law enforcement, attending court proceedings, and help with obtaining a protective order, among other services. All of our services are free and confidential and are available 24/7 at (800) 383-2988. You may also chat with us confidentially at: HelpingServices.org/chat.