Stalking is a very serious, and all too common occurance. According to a study by the U.S. Dept. of Justice:
- Your chances of being stalked are close to 1 in 10.
- One in 12 women are stalked at some point in their life.
- A woman is 3 times more likely to be stalked than raped.
- Each year an estimated 1,006,970 women and 370,992 men are stalked in the U.S.
- The primary targets of stalkers are women (80%).
- 8% of all women and 2% of all men are stalked at some time in their life.
- 10% of female victims and 12% of male victims are less than 18 years old.
- Approximately 50% of all stalking victims never report their victimization to law enforcement. Only 25% attain restraining orders against their assailant.
- 80% of all restraining orders attained against stalkers are violated.
- As of January 1, 1994, all fifty states in the U.S. have an anti-stalking law.
- On September 23, 1996 President Bill Clinton signed into law the Interstate Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act of 1996 making it a federal offense to stalk across state lines.
- Most violent crimes begin with stalking. People, including children, are typically stalked prior to being abducted.
- Stalking is prolonged criminal behavior that endangers the victim, their family, the community, and also poses a very real threat for workplace violence.
- Millions of innocent citizens are secondary targets to stalking. They suffer the repercussions of the criminal acts – either directly or indirectly.
- More than 45% of all stalking cases involve disruption within the workplace and have devastating effects on the productivity of organizations and on the quality of life of employees.
Cyberstalking is when an online incident spirals so out of control it gets to a point where a victim fears for his or her life or safety.
Until only recently, the word cyberstalking had not yet even been used. No one really knew what to call the act. Some called it online harassment, online abuse, or cyber-harassment. However, cyberstalking incidents are much more than two people simply arguing with each other or using foul language. In fact, there are incidents that go way beyond an annoyance and can escalate into terrifying situations for the victims.
As more and more incidents have became known, and more and more victims have reached out to law enforcement for help, all they received were either blank stares or they were told to turn off their computer. At the time, states did not have laws in place to protect the victims of cyberstalking, and their harassers kept up the harassment, which escalated sometimes to real-life stalking situations.
Law enforcement agencies now know that cyberstalking is a very real issue that needs to be dealt with, from local police departments to state police, the FBI, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, among others. Many are asking their officers to learn how to use the Internet and work with online victim groups. Others are attending seminars on cyberstalking being held throughout the country in which officers can learn how to track down cyberstalkers and how to deal with their victims.
Now, numerous states have cyberstalking laws. There is also a federal cyberstalking law waiting for Senate approval, and several other states with laws pending.
If you’re being stalked, get help now and fight back!
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