January is the National Stalking Awareness Month

January 2020 marks the sixteenth annual National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM), an annual call to action to recognize and respond to the serious crime of stalking.

Since 2004, each January is recognizedby the National Center for Victims of Crime as the National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM), aiming to raise awareness and help individuals and communities across the US identify, prevent and stop this dangerous behavior. Intrusive and harmful, stalking destroys a person’s sense of safety, leaving victims suffering from severe depression, insomnia or anxiety.

Movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up were a great step ahead towards opening up about sexual harassment, rape threats and abuse, in a time when cyberspace abusers use tactics like sextortion, revenge porn and online harassment, or newly-added offenses like swatting (calling a SWAT team to someone’s home) or doxing / doxxing (releasing someone’s private information publicly, with malicious intent).

Click here to learn more about what to do if you are being stalked https://www.stalkingawareness.org/what-to-do-if-you-are-being-stalked/

STALKING IS CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR & IS DESERVING OF FELONY CHARGES

Education and awareness are good tools to employ when dealing with a situation like stalking. Stalking is a serious crime and should always be taken seriously – it is a crime that deserves serious consequences, as it destroys lives.

Here is a link to a page that provides general information about laws related to stalking in the various jurisdictions of the United States https://victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/past-programs/stalking-resource-center/stalking-laws/criminal-stalking-laws-by-state

It is also noted on that page that…”The Stalking Resource Center, A Program of the National Center for Victims of Crime, makes every effort to ensure that this information is kept as up to date as possible. However, any legal information presented on our website should not be construed to be a source of legal advice. If you need legal advice on a stalking case, please consult a competent attorney in your jurisdiction.”

There are also Federal Stalking Laws that you should be aware of https://victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/past-programs/stalking-resource-center/stalking-laws/federal-stalking-laws

When you are a target of a stalker you may begin to experience rage, terror, suspicion, depression, changes in your sleeping and/or eating patterns, exhaustion, even bouts of crying. You become hyper-vigilant and you lose trust in others. It is an extremely traumatic situation to be in – please know that you are not going crazy. Your body and mind are reacting to the extreme stress caused by the continuing victimization. Talking to someone who is trained to work with victims and survivors may help alleviate some of the symptoms that are interfering in other aspects of your life. Domestic violence and victim witness programs are listed in the phone book.

Please understand that you have done nothing to provoke or cause you to become the target of a stalker. Stalking is never the victim’s fault. Know that what is happening to you is not okay, not your fault, and not caused by anything that you have done.

Keep safe – here are some suggestions: https://www.womenslaw.org/about-abuse/safety-tips/safety-tips-stalking-victims

VICTIMS OF STALKING BECOME HYPER-VIGILANT

 

Here are some good articles to read in order to understand what a victim of stalking has to deal with and yes, “In addition to the physical dangers, stalking takes a severe psychological toll on its victims.”

https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/articles/comprehensive-treatment-stalking-victims

https://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/pn.36.12.0008

http://usir.salford.ac.uk/40774/1/%27No%20Place%20to%20Hide%27%2C%20Stalking%20Victimisation%20and%20its%20psycho-social%20effects.pdf

 

 

Stalked: 85% of homicides occurred in the victim’s home

The following link is to a report, which is the culmination of significant research by the Homicide Research Group at the University of Gloucestershire.  thttps://www.suzylamplugh.org/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=1a6cf4d9-0df5-42be-8b02-4bdbd75fa264

Exploring the Relationship between Stalking and Homicide – By Dr. Jane Monckton Smith, Karolina Szymanska, and Sue Haile, with the Homicide Research Group, University of Gloucestershire Centre for Learning and Innovation in Public Protection, in association with Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

“Stalking behaviours were present in 94% of the cases”

This research is crucial in showing the link between stalking and homicide.

“85% of homicides occurred in the victim’s home.” As did Morgan’s murder…we thought she was safe in her own home, but we were wrong!

Education and awareness about the REAL dangers of stalkers is critical to raising awareness and making positive changes.  Please read and share with your family and friends.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust believes that everyone has the right to live life free from the harassment of stalkers. They want to make sure everyone knows that #StalkingMatters and that no one should live in fear of another person.  Read more https://www.suzylamplugh.org/nsaw