January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affects 6.6 million victims each year. The theme—“Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.”—challenges the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it.
Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, the U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia, yet many
victims and criminal justice professionals underestimate its seriousness and impact. In one of five cases, stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten victims, and stalking is one of the significant risk factors for homicide of women in abusive relationships. Victims suffer anxiety, social dysfunction, and severe depression at much higher rates than the general population, and many lose time from work or have to move as a result of their victimization.
Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate, and prosecute. Unlike other crimes, stalking is not
a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts, a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause that person fear. Stalking may take many forms, such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary, or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts, or visits. One in four victims reports that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, global positioning system devices, or hidden cameras, to track the victim’s daily activities. Stalkers fit no standard psychological profile, and many stalkers follow their victims from one jurisdiction to another, making it difficult for authorities to investigate and prosecute their crimes.
Communities that understand stalking, however, can support victims and combat the crime. “If more people learn to recognize stalking,” said Jean King, Executive Director of One SAFE Place, “we have a better chance to protect victims and prevent tragedies.”
For more information on how to stay safe in stalking situations, please contact the One SAFE Place 24-hr Crisis Hotline at (530) 244-0117 or visit www.ospshasta.org.
For additional resources to help promote National Stalking Awareness Month, please visit
The mission of One SAFE Place is to provide intervention and safety for a community affected by domestic and sexual abuse.
-from press release