POMEROY, Ohio – January is National Stalking Awareness Month.
The Meigs County Prosecutor, James Stanley along with the Meigs County Victim’s Advocate Office hopes to bring awareness of stalking to the county. According to a statement from the Prosecutor’s Office, “It is critical to raise issue of stalking as its own form of gender-based violence as well as a crime that frequently predicts and co-occurs with physical and sexual assault. Stalking impacts over 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men in the United States—yet, despite the prevalence and impacts, many victims and some criminal justice professionals underestimate its danger and urgency.”
The following is a list of cases that were reported to Law Enforcement in 2018:
- Telecommunications Harassment
- Menacing: • Stalking Civil Protection Orders filed
- Violations of Protection Orders
Stalking is defined as a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that causes fear. Many stalking victims experience being followed, approached, monitored and/or threatened—including through various forms of technology. Victims and survivors often suffer anxiety, social dysfunction and severe depression as a result of their victimization and may lose time from work or school and/or move. Stalking is a terrifying and psychologically harmful crime in its own right as well as a predictor of potentially lethal violence: in 85% of cases where an intimate partner (i.e., boyfriend or husband) attempted to murder his female partner, stalking preceded that attack.
Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, the U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia, but can be difficult to recognize and prosecute in a system designed to respond to singular incidents rather than the series of acts that constitutes stalking.
According to the prosecutor’s office the National Stalking Awareness Month’s theme is “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.” They are hoping that this becomes “a call to action for everyone in Meigs County and across the United States.” While police and victim serving professionals are critical, the reality is that the vast majority of victims tell friends or family about the stalking first.
“We all have a role to play in identifying stalking, intervening when necessary and supporting victims and survivors,” according to the statement.