CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper Police Department called attention to the crime of stalking this week with January marking National Stalking Awareness Month.
“Though millions of men and women are stalked every year in the United States, the crime of stalking is often misunderstood, minimized and/or ignored,” Casper PD said. “Stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that causes fear.”
“Many stalking victims experience being followed, approached and/or threatened – including through technology. Stalking is a terrifying and psychologically harmful crime in its own right as well as a predictor of potentially lethal violence: 1 in 5 stalkers use weapons to threaten or harm victims, and stalking increased the risk of intimate partner homicide by three times.”
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The Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center (SPARC) says that an estimated 6-7.5 million people are stalked each year in the United States.
“Nearly 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point in their lifetime,” the SPARC adds. “Using a less conservative definition of stalking, which considers any amount of fear (i.e., a little fearful, somewhat fearful, or very fearful), 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men reported being a victim of stalking in their lifetime.”
The SPARC says that stalking tactics can include”
- approaching the victim or showing up in places when the victim didn’t want them to be there
- making unwanted telephone calls
- leaving the victim unwanted messages (text or voice)
- watching or following the victim from a distance
- spying on the victim with a listening device, camera, or GPS
“The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know,” the SPARC says. “Many victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner, or by an acquaintance.”
“People aged 18-24 have the highest rate of stalking victimization.”
The Casper PD said that all citizens have a role in “identifying stalking and supporting victims and survivors.”
People can also contact the University of Wyoming’s Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic at (307) 766-3747 as a legal option.