by Tatyana Nyborg
Metro Campus Associate Editor
In spring, Metro Campus Student Life and Campus Police distributed packages with information about stalking.
“We had a “Lunch and Learn” event devoted to stalking,” said Jon Herring, coordinator of the Metro Campus Student Life office.
“More than 100 people gathered at the Metro Commons area to listen to a Campus Police representative and to a Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) specialist, Laurie Gonzales, on the subject of stalking, dates and awareness of surrounding.”
Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking is a crime in the United States.
In the United States, 7.5 million people are stalked in one year, according to a flier published by the Office on Violence Against Women of the U. S. Department of Justice.
The majority of victims are stalked by someone they know; 61 percent of women and 44 percent of men are stalked by a former intimate partner or a former spouse.
The statistics says that mostly young people before the age of 25 experience stalking. However, there are many cases when older women are stalked and abused by their former husbands, after the women have divorced them.
According to the Stalking Resource Center, 54 percent of homicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Morality reports that the following acts are considered to be stalking:
– approaching the victim or showing up in places when the victim did not want them to be;
– 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 global positioning system.
Stalkers harass their victims frequently; two-thirds of stalkers pursue the victims once a week, many daily, according to the Stalking Resource Center.
The Metro Campus Student Life office recommends victims of stalking to keep record and document stalking related behavior, such as phone calls, text messages, vandalism, and threats. It is also good to have a photograph of the stalker, copies of restraining orders and police reports.
The DVIS stays on top of stalking crime prevention. There is the 24-hour emergency information and crisis line for domestic crime and sexual assault victims: 918.HELP.ME (743-5763.)
For more information, contact the Stalking Resource Center www.victimsofcrime.org/src or call 202-467-8700, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.