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January Is Stalking Awareness Month
Written by Submitted   
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:32 PM

January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affected 6.6 million victims in one year.  The theme - "Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It" - challenges the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it.

Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, the U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia, yet many victims and criminal justice professionals underestimate its seriousness and impact. In  one in five cases, stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten victims, and stalking is one of the significant risk factors in abusive relationships. Victims suffer anxiety, social dysfunction, and severe depression at much higher rates than the general population, and many lose time from work or have to move as a result of their victimization.

Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate, and prosecute. Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts, a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause that person fear. Stalking may take many forms, such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary, or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts, or visits.