Stalking is a dangerous crime, and often goes unreported because victims do not realize the behavior is criminal. Stalking behaviors can include unwanted telephone calls or text messages, unwanted emails or letters, following or spying on the victim, showing up at the victim’s residence, workplace or other location, waiting for the victim, sending unsolicited flowers or gifts, tracking a victim through GPS or other electronic monitoring, and threatening to hurt the victim, their family, their friends, or their pets.
According to the Stalking Resource Center:
· The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know – 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims were stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
· 89% of female homicide victims who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the 12 months before their murder.
· 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
· 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization.
· 11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more.
· Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
· 1 in 8 employed stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization and more than half lose 5 days of work or more.
Stalking can have serious effects on victims, harming their mental and physical health, disrupting their school or work schedule, disrupting their social life, and causing financial strain.
What should you do if you’re being stalked?
· If you feel you are in immediate danger, call 911.
· Trust your instincts, and take all threats seriously.
· Do not make any contact with the stalker or return any attempts to communicate.
· Keep a log of all contact from the stalker, and report all stalking occurrences to the police.
· Tell family, friends, and co-workers about the stalking.
· Seek out assistance from a victim’s advocate.
My Sisters’ Place
Newport Office: (541) 574-9424
24/7 Crisis Line: (541) 994-5959
Siletz CARE Program – culturally specific services to Native American victims in Lincoln County
Office: (541) 444-9680
24/7 Support: (541) 270-9010
For more information, visiting stalkingawarenessmonth.org