The month of January is designated as Stalking Awareness Month — a serious issue that is often overlooked in communities across the country. While stalking can take many forms, it is most often summed up as a series of persistent actions directed at an individual that cause the victim to fear for their well-being.
Stalking is a crime with serious consequences, especially as it is often closely related to sexual violence. A stalker may leave unwanted messages, follow their victim in a car or on foot, or even use a camera or GPS device to track the victim’s position. Stalking is often connected with rape, sexual assault, and even murder. Weapons are frequently used to threaten or intimidate victims.
Unsurprisingly, this creates an aura of fear and oppression, especially among those who are being stalked by an intimate partner who has previously committed an act of sexual violence against them. Even when acts of violence do not take place, the psychological and emotional oppression can cause victims to miss work, lose sleep, or become depressed.
This January, seek to educate yourself on this important topic and find ways to spread awareness. By spreading awareness of this serious problem in the community, more people can come to understand how dangerous this behavior is, creating avenues for victims to get the support they need.