Union County State's Attorney's Office

January Is National Stalking Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 3, 2018

January Is National Stalking Awareness Month

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds is alerting the public that January is National Stalking Awareness Month – a time to focus on a crime that affects 3.4 million victims a year.  A public education and awareness event will be held in the Community Room in the Courthouse located in Jonesboro, Illinois on January 10th at 11:30 a.m. encouraging the public to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it. Anticipated presenters are Scott Harvel, Union County Sheriff, Cathy McClanahan, Executive Director of the Women’s Center, and Tyler R. Edmonds, Union County State’s Attorney.

Stalking is a crime in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, yet many victims and criminal justice professionals underestimate its seriousness and impact.  In one of five cases, stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten victims, and stalking is one of the significant risk factors for homicide in abusive relationships.  Victims suffer anxiety, social dysfunction, and severe depression at much higher rates than the general population, and many lose time from work or have to move as a result of their victimization.

Stalking is difficult 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 that would cause that person fear.  Stalking may take many forms, such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary, or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts, or visits.  One in four victims reports that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, global positioning system devices, or hidden cameras, to track the victim’s daily activities.   Stalkers fit no standard psychological profile, and many stalkers follow their victims from one jurisdiction to another, making it difficult for authorities to investigate and prosecute their crimes.  Communities that understand and recognize stalking, however, can support victims and combat the crime.

The Union County State’s Attorney’s Office encourages community members to report incidents of stalking and promote awareness and public education about stalking during the annual observance.

For more information, please contact the State’s Attorney’s Office at 618-833-7216.  Additional information is also available at www.stalkingawarenessmonth.org and www.ovw.usdoj.gov.

Union County State's Attorney's Office