For Immediate Release Contact: Scott Jones
December 31, 2015 Community Services Coordinator, CNVC
209-588-9305 ext. 112
January is National Stalking Awareness Month
Center For A Non Violent Community Launches Community Stalking Awareness Campaign
Sonora, CA- January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affected 7.5 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 of five cases, stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten victims, and stalking is one of the significant risk factors for femicide (homicide of women) 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, gifts, or visits. One in four victims reports that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, global positioning system devices, or hidden cameras, to track the victim’s daily activities. Stalkers fit no standard psychological profile, and many stalkers follow their victims from one jurisdiction to another, making it difficult for authorities to investigate and prosecute their crimes. California Penal Code Section 646.9 defines Stalking: Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family, is guilty of the crime of stalking. Although stalking is a crime in all 50 states, there are differences in the definition of what constitutes the crime.
Communities that understand stalking, however, can support victims and combat the crime. “If more people are aware of stalking,” said District Attorney Laura Krieg, “we can work to prevent it and to protect victims.”
If you have any questions about stalking or how it impacts your community, please contact the Center For A Non Violent Community at 209-588-9305 or visit our website at www.nonviolentcommunity.org. For additional resources, please visit www.victimsofcrime.org CNVC and the Tuolumne County District Attorney Victim/Witness Program will be working together to promote awareness and public education about stalking through social media.