January is National Stalking Awareness Month

January 7, 2016 – TOPEKA, KS – January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affects 7.5 million victims a year. This year’s 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 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 can suffer anxiety 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 may take many forms,” says Joyce Grover, executive director for the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV). “Showing up in places the victim does not want their stalker to be, sending unwanted voice or text messages, watching or following the victim from a distance, or spying on the victim with various technologies are all strategies a stalker may use,” says Grover.

Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate, and prosecute. 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. In Kansas, requests for protection orders continued to rise in 2014, with 7,861 filings of a Protection from Abuse Order and 4,669 filings of a Protection from Stalking Order.

Communities that understand stalking can support victims and combat the crime. “If more people learn to recognize stalking,” says Grover, “we will be able to better support victims and hopefully prevent these incidents from becoming lethal.”

For additional resources or to learn more about National Stalking Awareness Month, please visit: 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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KANSAS CRISIS HOTLINE: 888-END-ABUSE | 888-363-2287