National Stalking Awareness Month

Law enforcement, and domestic violence workers, are using this month to call attention to an under–reported national and local problem.

Since 2004, the U.S. Department of Justice and others have recognized January as National Stalking Awareness Month.

Stalking can take many forms, and the range is growing wider as communication technology grows more advanced.

Texts and social networking websites now frequently used.

Only 37% of male victims, and 41% of female victims, report their stalker to police.

Cheryl O’Neil of Caring House in Iron Mountain says there are three main reasons — a lack of understanding that stalking is a crime in all 50 states, not believing the police will take it seriously or minimizing the seriousness of the situation.

The Justice Department says nearly three and a half million Americans are stalked each year, usually by someone they know.

About a third of the time, the stalker is a former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend.

Posted by: Mike Hoey

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