National Stalking Awareness Month

This January marks the 6th annual National Stalking Awareness Month, and the non-profit National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) is challenging communities to expand their understanding of stalking as a dangerous crime. For more than a decade, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has recognized stalking as behavior strongly related to domestic violence and affecting mostly women (see DOJ report here [PDF]).

Working with the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women, the NCVC has launched its “Stalking: Know it. Name it. Stop It” campaign, offering outreach materials through its Stalking Resources Center, which are available here. Among the resources are an interactive online quiz: How Much do You Know About Stalking?;  overviews of stalking laws, protections and penalties; artwork; media tools and help for victims, including safety plan guidelines and a handbook.

Meanwhile, on Jan. 13, the DOJ announced 2005-2006 statistics showing that an estimated 3.4 million people in the United States identified themselves as victims of stalking, with nearly a quarter saying their stalkers were former intimates. Emotional effects of stalking reported ranged from feelings of uncertainty to fears of death. One out of eight employed victims reported losing time from work, and 130,000 reported being fired or asked to leave their jobs.

The full DOJ press release and report, described as “the largest data collection of stalking behavior to date,” is available here and here).

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