Today: Jun 17, 2024

National stalking month

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Melissa GiugnoSpecial to the Southern News

The Women’s Center is drawing attention to National Stalking Awareness Month; this event was created to help people learn how to protect themselves and others from stalking. 

At Southern’s Adanti Student Center, the Women’s Center set up a table with flyers, quizzes and fact sheets, encouraging students walking by to take one to arm themselves with the knowledge needed to defend themselves against potential stalkers.

Ebony McClease, graduate intern from the Women’s Center, is one of the people helping to bring this national event into SCSU.

“Stalking is a dangerous crime that affected 6.6 million adults in the United States in one year. The better we understand the facts about stalking, the more we can do to stop it. That is why we, at the Women’s Center, are fighting to put an end to it,” said McClease.

McClease goes on to say how it is also important to be aware of your surroundings and of the information being put on social networking sites. She also encourages the students at SCSU to look into the resources on campus. She says that the Women’s Center, Counseling Services, Judicial Affairs and the University Police are great places to utilize.

Emily Gela, sophomore early childhood education major, understands the importance of this month because she was personally affected by stalking.

“I was stalked in high school for about a year and a half,” said Gela. “I thought we were friends. I’ve been told by this person that I would be followed home by him. On one occasion, he did, about halfway, before I told him to head back or I would call the police. He was taking my information from my social websites and telling other people about them.”

Gela said now to protect herself from any future danger, she keeps personal information to herself and makes sure she always has someone with her.

“I don’t give out things such as my address or phone number to just anybody,” said Gela, “I trust only a few people with such information. I also never go anywhere alone; I’d say that students shouldn’t ever walk alone in public, especially in places such as parking garages where it is easy to get stalked.”

Unlike Gela, sophomore nursing major Christie Bevis had an experience with stalking on campus.

“On campus, I was introduced to a guy by a friend,” said Bevis. “Very quickly he became obsessive and constantly tried to contact me. He would always try to find me around campus and when he did, he would try to stay around me as long as possible.”

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