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Stalking

Description

Stalking is a crime of power and control. It is a course of action directed at an individual that causes the victim to fear for their safety, and generally involves repeated visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, and verbal, written, or implied threats.

Research shows that victims of stalking are more likely to experience anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression compared to the general population.

Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Territories, and the Federal Government. Each year, January is recognized as National Stalking Awareness Month in an effort to educate the public about serious—and at times deadly—crime of stalking.

The following resources provide information on stalking.

If you believe that you are in danger, we strongly urge you to call your local police department’s emergency number (911).

If your local police department employs a victim advocate, they may be able to help you develop a safety plan. You may also contact a local victim service provider. If you need help locating a victim service provider in your area, call the VictimConnect toll free helpline at 855–484–2846.

The Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center also provides information and resources on developing a safety plan on the What to Do if You Are Being Stalked section of their site.

If you are a victim of stalking, call your local police department's emergency number (911) to report any incidents.

If you feel you need protection, and you have not done so already, you should consider filing for a protective order, which you can request through civil proceedings. Additionally, if appropriate, you may be able to obtain a no-contact order through the criminal case involving the defendant who threatened you.

A "protective," "no-contact," or "stay-away" order is a legal protection that a court issues against the offender to restrict the offender’s contact and interactions with you. If the offender continues to harass or threaten you, this behavior may be punishable by law. Under the Federal Violence Against Women Act, jurisdictions must give full faith and credit to valid protective orders issued by other jurisdictions. Full faith and credit is a legal term that means jurisdictions must honor and enforce orders issued by courts in other jurisdictions. This can enable you to call on law enforcement officers and the courts to enforce orders of protection across state lines.

If your local police department employs a victim advocate, they may be able to help you develop a safety plan. You may also contact a local victim service provider. If you need help locating a victim service provider in your area, call the VictimConnect toll free helpline at 855–484–2846.

The Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center also provides information and resources on the What to Do if You Are Being Stalked section of their site.

Date Created: June 1, 2020