Today: Jun 17, 2024

Stalking Awareness brought to SCSU

Shaunna CullenGeneral Assignment Reporter

January is national stalking awareness month. ‘Tweet This’ was an event held by the Women’s Center to increase recognition of what stalking is, and what to do if someone suspects they are being stalked.

Ebony McClease, a graduate intern at the Women’s Center, hosted the event.

“I don’t think we really pay attention to these conversations around being safe. And we take for granted things like technology. Technology has become a really big problem in things like stalking and dating violence and controlling behaviors,” said McClease.

This issue mostly affects people of college age, 18 to 25 year olds said McClease.

Mike Hanson, junior liberal arts major, said when he thinks of someone stalking another person, he thinks of an older man peeking around the corner at a younger woman. He finds this ironic because he said he was stalked freshman year by a classmate.

According to Stalkingawarenessmonth.org, “The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.”

“She took my phone number from a friend of mine in class,” said Hanson.

Hanson said at the time he was not interested in this woman, and made it clear to her he was dating someone else even before she obtained his number. However, this woman was in his class and Hanson said she would regularly follow him to his next class.

Hanson said when she would text him, he made it clear he wanted her to stop texting him.

The breaking point for Hanson was when the two were in an elevator together on campus and the woman pretended to trip and fall into him. Hanson said he thinks she was trying to kiss him.

“I told her straight up this has to stop,” said Hanson.

After the semester was over, and the class was over, Hanson said the woman finally left him alone.

From what Hanson describes, this person would be classified as a stalker.  Some identifying factors according to stalkingawarenessmonth.org include: “2/3 of

stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method. 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.”

There are laws put in place with regard to stalking.  According to the Stalkingawarenessmonth.org Stalking Fact Sheet, all 50 states in the U.S., the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories stalking is a crime. However, in one third of the states stalking is a felony on the first offense.

In half of the United States on the second or more offense, stalking is a felony especially if the crime involves possession of a deadly weapon, violation of a court order or condition of probation/parole, victim under 16 years, and more.

There are several precautions a person should take if they fear they are being stalked. The number one suggestion from the stalking awareness website to receive immediate attention is to call 911.

Other suggestions include having trusted friends know what is going on and protecting any sensitive information that may be stored on a laptop, computer or cell phone.

The website also recommends if a person fears they are in danger to go to a police station, residences of family or friends (locations unknown to the perpetrators), domestic violence shelters, place of worship or public areas.

 

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