Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Department of Justice Releases First Comprehensive Report on Stalking in US

As I noted is my last blog post, January is National Stalking Awareness Month and and the Office on Violence Against Women, in partnership with the National Center for Victims of Crime, launched the 2009 campaign “Know it. Name It. Stop It.”

On January 13, the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics released a supplemental report to the National Crime Victimization Survey focused on Stalking Victimization in the United States. This report is the most comprehensive study of stalking to date and confirms what experts in the field have long known:

- Stalking is pervasive
- Women are at higher risk of being stalked,
- There is a dangerous intersection between stalking and more violent crimes.

The study found that during a 12-month period, an estimated 3.4 million people (age 18 or older) were victims of stalking. Surpassing previous estimates of stalking, the study noted persons age 18 to 19 and 20 to 24 experienced the highest rates of stalking victimization.

The study further illustrates a dangerous reality that women are at higher risk of stalking victimization. Females experienced 20 stalking victimizations per 1,000 females age 18 or older. The rate of stalking victimization for males was approximately 7 per 1,000 males age 18 or older.

Seven in 10 victims sought help. Approximately 60% do not report victimization to the police. Most enlisted the help of family or friends while only 7% contacted victim services, a shelter, or helpline.

These findings delineate some clear priorities for professionals in the field as well as friends and colleagues – and workplaces. As I indicated in my last post, stalking is a real issue for employees who are victims of domestic violence, and stalking at the workplace is a potential indication of increased danger for that employee – and the rest of the workplace.

Take a look at the resources on the National Stalking Awareness Month website, during Stalking Awareness Month and throughout the year.

In addition, take advantage of the information and resources on the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence website at .

We need to take stalking seriously – and this new study shows how important it is that we make it “everybody’s business.”

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