Stalking Awareness Month

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January has been designated as National Stalking Awareness Month.   Stalking is not a gender specific crime, both men and women can be victims of this terrifying act.   And yes, it is a crime in all 50 states.

The Stalking Resource Center defines stalking as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.  Since legal definitions and penalties vary from state to state make sure to check your specific state statute for the legalities.

Here is the link to Florida’s State Statute http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0784/Sections/0784.048.html  

Some things stalkers do:

  • Follow you and show up wherever you are.
  • Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails.
  • Damage your home, car, or other property.
  • Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
  • Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
  • Drive-by or hang out at your home, school, or work.
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
  • Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  • Other actions that control, track, or frighten you.
                                                              (Courtesy of The Stalking Resource)

If you or someone you know and love are being stalked DO NOT hesitate to contact your local law enforcement agency and report it.  Stalking is one of the few crimes where early intervention can prevent violence and death;  so be aware of your surroundings and know the signs of stalking.

Stalking…Know It, Name It, Stop It!

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