January is National Stalking Awareness Month; Teens are Most Likely to be Victims

JANUARY IS NATIONAL STALKING AWARENESS MONTH; TEENS ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE VICTIMS -- January is a month dedicated to spreading awareness to the horrible crime of stalking.

StalkingAwarenessMonth.org

JANUARY IS NATIONAL STALKING AWARENESS MONTH; TEENS ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE VICTIMS -- January is a month dedicated to spreading awareness to the horrible crime of stalking.

Victoria Dutilly, Staff Writer

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Did you know that January is National Stalking Awareness Month? Many people do not know this, and that is the reason why there is a whole month dedicated bringing awareness to the serious crime. Stalking, by definition, is “criminal activity consisting of the repeated following and harassing of another person.”

According to Victimsofcrime.org, an average of 6.6 million people are stalked each year. Although stalking can be completely gender-neutral, most cases show women as the victim. According to John Carroll University statistics, every 1 in 6 women are stalked while only every 1 in 19 men are stalked, meaning women are almost 3 times more likely than men to experience stalking.

Stalkers can have many different motives and personalities. All 50 states have laws against stalking. California was the first to create a law against stalking in 1990.

Officer Marcus Dodson, Central’s SRO, shared his perspective on stalking in the United States.

“I think there is a month for stalking because most stalking cases come from domestic violence. In domestic violence cases we have to make an arrest. There’s conditions of release, like if you’re arrested for domestic abuse, the suspect cannot be around the victim at all, until there’s a court date. And stalking is involved in all of that,” explains Dodson.

“The reason why stalking is a serious problem in the United States is because people can’t let go. In relationships, people can’t let the other go. They have to have the last word. People have this mentality that ‘if I don’t get the last say then I am considered a weak person’,” Dodson further elaborated.

He also provided his input on how to prevent more stalking from taking place.

“Harsher punishments for stalking cases [will help stop people from becoming stalkers.] I think the issue will worsen over the years considering the current generation.”

Although it may be true that crime can get worse as time passes, with the help of the communities and harsher laws, stalking will hopefully become less common in the United States.

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