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5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Stalking

January is National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM) and it’s the perfect time for all of us to learn more about a part of domestic violence and sexual assault that often goes unnoticed. In 2004, the National Center for Victims of Crime launched National Stalking Awareness Month to help better educate the public and professionals about the crime of stalking. According to the Stalking Resource Center, “NSAM began in response to a 2003 call to the Stalking Resource Center from Debbie Riddle, the sister of murdered stalking victim Peggy Klinke. Riddle wanted to transform her family’s painful tragedy into a force for good—and to help improve law enforcement’s response to stalking and save lives.”

Expand Your Knowledge
-Test your knowledge with the Stalking Awareness Month Quiz. The statistics are startling, but you can see if you are up-to-date on the latest information. Awareness about stalking is the first step in ending this crime in our communities.

http://stalkingawarenessmonth.org/quiz

1 in 4 women ages 18-24 have been stalked online. Advances in technology give stalkers new tools to track victims. From social media “check-ins” giving real time locations to utilizing floods of text messages to harass victims night and day, technology can create new threats for victims. Twenty-five percent of victims report being stalked through some form of technology (including e-mail and instant messaging), while 10% of victims report to being monitored through global positioning systems (GPS), video or digital cameras, and/or listening devices.


1 in 3 stalkers have stalked before. Stalkers often target people that they know and 75% of women killed by their partners were stalked before their murders. Intimate partner stalkers will often physically approach victims and behaviors escalate quickly.

-Ignoring a stalker will not make them go away. In fact, it can cause an escalation in stalking and threatening behavior. If you are being stalked, you can get help. Talk to a domestic violence advocate about creating a safety plan and keep a log of all contact so if or when you decide to report to the police you can show them the pattern of threatening behavior.

-A National Stalking Awareness Twitter Chat will happen on January 19, 2016 at 2p.m. ET. You can ask questions, tell your story, and get assistance from the Stalking Resource Center.

Protect Yourself

If you are in danger, always call 911. Additional resources and safety tips can be found at http://stalkingawarenessmonth.org/resources. There are safety planning guidelines, a log to help you keep track of incidents, and a handbook for victims. Be informed and be safe!

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Natalie Phillips is a social worker with 16 years of experience in nonprofit organizations and schools. She specializes in women’s health working with individuals, families, volunteers, and the community. She has worked as a domestic violence victim advocate, a project coordinator, and public policy analyst with an emphasis on public health and macro social work.

Currently she is the Training Services Manager at the Domestic Violence Network where she facilitates trainings for domestic violence advocates, businesses, non-profit organizations, medical professionals, clergy, and community groups. She also oversees the DVN Advocate’s Group for the education and collaboration of direct service providers in Central Indiana.  She creates and facilitates public health curriculum on a variety of topics, serves as part of the Marion County Reentry Coalition, and holds leadership positions within multiple advocacy organizations.