Submitted by Sydney Gilbert, Tulalip Tribes Child Advocacy Center
This January marks the 15th annual 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.
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 serious violence.
In 85% of cases where an intimate partner (i.e., boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife) attempted to murder his partner, stalking preceded the attack. We all have a role to play in identifying stalking and supporting victims and survivors.
If you would like to learn about other ways to help support victims and survivors, visit www.stalkingawareness.org.