Tahoe Women’s Services: January is National Stalking Awareness Month | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Women’s Services: January is National Stalking Awareness Month

January is National Stalking Awareness Month. Tahoe Women's Services warns readers stalkers aren't just creepy, they can be dangerous.

During January 2009, communities across the country will observe National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affects 1.4 million victims a year. This year’s theme? “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.”

Stalking is a crime in all 50 states including the District of Columbia. One in 12 women and one in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime, for an average duration of almost two years. Most victims are ordinary Americans. Victims may experience psychological trauma, financial hardship and even death. Eighty-one percent of victims stalked by an intimate partner were also physically assaulted by that partner and 76 percent of female homicide victims were stalked prior to their death. Last year, 22 stalking victims went to Tahoe Women’s Services. Advocates assisted those victims in numerous ways, including helping them fill out restraining orders.

Many victims underestimate the seriousness and impact of this crime. At first, they may view stalking as “creepy” but not dangerous. They may think ignoring or confronting stalkers will stop them. But stalkers almost never stop. Confronting a stalker may escalate the violence.

Even when victims see the danger and report the crime, stalking may be hard for authorities to recognize, investigate and prosecute. Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts, a course of conduct directed at a specific person to cause fear.

Stalking may take many forms, such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts or visits. Stalkers may use a range of devices, such as computers, cell phones or hidden cameras. Stalking may also include stalking victims at their home and work and tracking victims during their daily activities.

Stalkers fit no standard psychological profile, and many have been known to follow their victims from one jurisdiction to another, making apprehension by the authorities even more difficult.

By learning more about stalking, Tahoe can support victims and combat the crime. “If more people can recognize stalking,” said Karen S. Carey, Executive Director of Tahoe Women’s Services, “we have a better chance to hold offenders accountable. Knowledge can help Tahoe support victims and prevent tragedies.”

If you believe you are being stalked or you have a friend or family member who is being stalked, please have them call Tahoe Women’s Services 24 Hour Help Line at (800) 736-1060.

Karen S. Carey

Executive Director of Tahoe Women’s Services


Information for this article was gathered from the following resources:

Tjaden and Thoennes, “Stalking in America;” Mullen, Pathe, and Purcell, “Stalkers and Their Victims;” Tjaden, “Stalking in America;” MacFarlane et al., and “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide.”

Audition for a brand-new community based play produced by Tahoe Women’s Services. All auditions will be cold reads of dramatic pieces, actors 18+, no experience necessary. Auditions by appointment only; please call Erin at (775) 298-0182 to schedule an audition time.

Feb. 9: Incline Village

7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Join now to become a Charter Member of the Friends of Tahoe Women’s Services (TWS). Members receive a range of benefits including TWS newsletters, awarenes pins, TWS mugs, caps or shirts, and/or tickets to our special events. Visit http://www.tahoewomenservices.org.

Feb. 9: Incline Village 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Feb. 11: Tahoe City 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Feb. 13: Truckee 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

April 5, 2009 Northstar-at-Tahoe

Grab your skis and snowboards and bring your friends and family. Enjoy the slopes, supporting a fantastic organization, and save more than $50!

Northstar-at-Tahoe generously donated 1,000 tickets to Tahoe Women’s Services (TWS) which means all proceeds go to benefit TWS. Tickets are limited so purchase yours today. We sold out last spring.

All tickets are $25 and will be valid on Sunday, April 5, 2009. Tickets must be purchased before April 5 and will be available to pick up at will call in the Northstar Village from 8 a.m. to noon.

Tickets are not refundable. Thank you for your generous donation. For questions please contact Erin (775) 298-0182 or erin@tahoewomenservices.org.

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