Statewide Group Asks Legislature to Address Stalking

Victims advocates from across Kansas to participate in the 5th annual “Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness Day and Reception”.

Topeka, Kan. – January is National Stalking Awareness Month and a statewide victims advocacy group is highlighting that fact in an afternoon press conference tomorrow.

“We are bringing attention to the issue of stalking because research indicates it is closely linked to sexual and domestic violence,” said Sandy Barnett, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV). “Perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence often stalk victims as well, and this co-occurrence needs to be addressed by the Kansas Legislature this year.”

Barnett, Kansas Representative Kasha Kelley, and former Attorney General Bob Stephan will speak at a press conference on 1:30 pm Thursday, January 24, 2008 at the Statehouse, 2nd Floor Rotunda. The press conference is part of KCSDV’s 5th annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets, a two-day event which gives KCSDV member programs an opportunity to come together at the Statehouse and visit legislators and distribute awareness materials.

During the 2008 session, the Kansas Legislature will take up a revision of the Kansas stalking statute. Barnett said she hoped that the revision would make charging and prosecuting stalkers easier.

“We also hope the revision will include enhancing the penalty when stalking occurs in violation of a protection order, or if there has been a previous conviction of stalking,” Barnett said, noting that stalking is an indicator of increased dangerousness in both sexual assault and domestic violence perpetration.

“Whether stalking is committed by intimate partners or strangers, it can have devastating impacts on victims,” Barnett said. “It will take all of us, including our legislators, to address this problem.”

Contact: Laurie Harrison
785.232.9784 (office)
785.633.9703 (cell)
or lharrison@kcsdv.org

KCSDV is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. It is a coalition of 30 community-based, sexual and domestic violence advocacy programs in Kansas. These programs provide direct services to victims of sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. KCSDV provides technical assistance, training, legislative advocacy, and policy analysis on a variety of topics for member programs, professionals and ally organizations across Kansas. Visit online at www.kcsdv.org.

Media Contact

Lucca Wang, Communications Coordinator
lwang@kcsdv.org
Office: 785-232-9784 Extension 335
Mobile: 785-633-6648

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