If you are a victim of stalking, please call the National Center for Victims of Crime, Stalking Resource Center at 1-800-394-2255 or 1-800-211-7996 (TTY).
My husband watches for these things and reminds me that January is National Stalking Awareness Month. If you have been imitating Rip Van Winkle, Peter Klaus, Honi M’agel or any other literary hypersomniacs, wake up and read below.
The US Department of Justice states the definition of stalking is:
“Stalking generally refers to harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person’s home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person’s property. These actions may or may not be accompanied by a credible threat of serious harm, and they may or may not be precursors to an assault or murder.”
The legal definition, as do many things, varies from state to state though most now include:
“States define stalking as the willful, malicious, and repeated following and harassing of another person, some States include in their definition such activities as lying-in-wait, surveillance, nonconsensual communication, telephone harassment, and vandalism.”
Since 2005, cyberstalking has also been part of the actionable definition.
There are varying statistics on stalking, with the CDC estimating in 2005 that 7 million women and 2 million men in the United States that have been stalked. Most know their stalkers. It appears from reports in 1998 that Indigenous and Alaskan Inuit women may suffer a rate, with other minority women and white women about the same percentage.
Stalking is part of the pattern of woman hatred and killing. About 76% of women homicide victims were found to have been stalked by their partners before they were killed by them.
Title: Stalking in America: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey.
Series: Research in Brief
Author: Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes
Published: April 1998
PUMA, The New Agenda, 4ERA, 51 Percent