January 2012 marks the ninth observance of National Stalking Awareness Month. Stalking involves a pattern of overtly criminal and/or apparently innocent behavior that makes victims fear for themselves or others. It creates uncertainty, instills fear, and can completely disrupt lives. It sometimes involves severe-even lethal-violence.
Research and studies estimate:
Stalking is a crime under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Territories, and the federal government. Almost all states classify stalking as a felony upon either the first or second case, or when it involves aggravating factors such as the possession of a deadly weapon, a violation of a court order, or a victim under the age of 16.
You can educate yourself and your community about stalking during January, National Stalking Awareness Month with the following resources or visit stalkingawarenessmonth.org.
For a compilation of state, tribal, and federal laws visit http://www.ncvc.org/src/main.aspx?dbID=DB_Register204.
POP Guide: Stalking (No. 22)
Stalking creates uncertainty, instills fear and can completely disrupt lives. This guide reviews the problem of stalking and the factors that contribute to it. It identifies a series of questions to help law enforcement analyze their local problem. Finally, it reviews responses to the problem of stalking and what is known about them from evaluative research and police practice.
Links in the Chain: Two Communities Respond to Stalking (Video and Discussion Guide)
This discussion guide and the companion 20-minute video are excellent training and educational tools for all levels of law enforcement, victim service providers, and community stakeholders seeking to develop multidisciplinary, collaborative responses to the serious problem of stalking. The video, which defines stalking, how it often occurs, and how to respond to it, can be used in conjunction with training that focuses on community policing, victim safety, and community collaboration. Discussion Guide | Video CD-ROM
This monograph is designed to help law enforcement agencies improve their responses to stalking. It focuses on the need to establish collaborative partnerships with the community and to develop protocols to help law enforcement address stalking more effectively. The COPS Office funded the National Center for Victims of Crime to develop and field test a Model Stalking Protocol. The Protocol was tested by the Philadelphia Police Department. This publication addresses how law enforcement agencies can implement a Model Stalking Protocol for early intervention, preventive action, and proactive problem-solving in stalking cases.
This CD-ROM contains more than 50 publications and resource links related to crime and violence, drug and alcohol issues, as well as sexual assault and stalking. It also contains a video, Because Things Happen Every Day: Responding to Teenage Victims of Crime, produced by the National Center from Victims of Crime and sponsored by the COPS Office.