January 2011 marks the 8th annual Stalking Awareness Month. During the month of January programs will bring awareness to the issue of stalking and what people can do to stop it.
3.4 million people are stalked in this country each year. Often the perception is that it is celebrities that are stalked by crazed fans. While this does happen, it is not the majority of stalking cases. Three out of four victims know their stalker. Nearly one third of victims are stalked by a current or former spouse or girl/boy friend.
The impact of stalking takes many forms but the emotional and physical toll on the victims is tremendous. The constant threat of someone following you, watching your moves and threatening you places a heavy toll on stalking victims. People who are stalked are always afraid and constantly looking over their shoulders. It is difficult to find peace and rest when fear is always present.
- 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next.
- 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop.
- The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves being followed or having one’s property destroyed.
- 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily.
- 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
If you know someone who is being stalked or you are a victim, there are resources available. A great resource is the Stalking Resource Center at www.ncvc.org and also at www.stalkingawarenessmonth.org. As always, Hope House can help answer questions and assist with safety planning. Our 24-hour hotline 816-461-HOPE (4673) is always available.
Source: The Stalking Resource Center. (June 2009) Stalking Fact Sheet 2Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (1998). Stalking in America: Findings from the National Violence Against Women survey. National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research in Brief. Washington, DC: U.S. Department