By: Debbie Riddle, Stalking Awareness Advocate
This time of year, people celebrate the spooky and scary. But Halloween-related creepy is a far cry from matters truly terrifying, like stalking. Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment or contact directed at a specific person to induce fear.
Since October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I wanted to take a moment to share some truly chilling statistics about stalking:
- 7.5 million people are stalked in the US in one year.
- 89% of femicide victims who have been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the 12 months prior to their murder ( stalking is an extremely dangerous behavior )
- 61% of female victims and 44% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner, 25% of female victims and 32% of male victims are stalked by an acquaintance.
- About half of all victims of stalking indicated that they were stalked before the age of 25. About 14% of female victims and 16% of male victims experienced stalking between the ages of 11 and 17
- 11% of stalking victims were stalked for more than 5 years.
- 46% of stalking victims greatest fear is not knowing what will happen next.
My sister, Peggy Klinke, was a victim of stalking. She endured years of emotional abuse, harassment, surveillance, threats and terrifying behaviors before she was murdered by her ex-boyfriend and stalker. I am sharing her story in hopes that my efforts will help others prevent or avoid similar critical situations.
For additional information and stalking resources that can help prevent future violence and keep ourselves, our families and our friends safe, please visit http://stalkingmuststop.org/