January is Stalking Awareness Month

Stalking is a criminal offense under the laws of all 50 states, including New Hampshire. Although its prevalence is high, public awareness that stalking is a crime remains dangerously low. Here in New Hampshire 598 women and 108 men sought services as stalking victims in 2012, but we know there are many more people in our state who need help. The Center for Disease Control’s 2011 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey estimates that that there are approximately 84,000 New Hampshire women who have been stalked in the course of their lifetime. 
 
Many people don’t consider themselves victims because for them the word “stalking” often conjures up images of a stranger lurking in the dark. The truth is that 77% of female victims and 64% of male victims know their stalkers. Many victims do not realize that stalking is a crime and that in New Hampshire there are laws to protect them. A person commits the crime of stalking when one “Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly engages in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person which would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of a member of that person's immediate family.”  In today’s high tech world, stalkers have taken their activities to a whole new level through easily available cell phone tracking apps, computer monitoring software, camera surveillance and other spyware applications. 
 
Stalkers can be very dangerous and we encourage victims to take the crime seriously. Victims should document everything related to the stalking, contact law enforcement, plan for safety and find emotional support. Advocates at the fourteen member programs of the Coalition are available day or night to provide support, information and safety planning for victims of stalking. New Hampshire’s statewide hotlines are 1-866-644-3574 for domestic violence, and 1-800-277-5570 for sexual assault. 
 
 

Stalking Facts: 

 

According to the CDC An estimated 15.9% or 84,000 New Hampshire women have been stalked over the course of their lifetime. [1]
6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States. [1]
One in 6 women (16.2%) and 1 in 19 men (5.2%) in the United States have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.[1]
A stalker usually isn't a stranger. The stalker may be a current or former intimate partner, a friend, customer, coworker, or an acquaintance. 77% of female victims and 64% of male victims know their stalkers.[1]
More than half of female victims and more than 1/3 of male victims of stalking indicated that they were stalked before the age of 25. [1]
76% of intimate partner femicide victims have been stalked by their intimate partner. [2]
11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more. [3]
1 in 8 employed stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization and more than half lose 5 days of work or more. [4]
The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves be¬ing followed or having one’s property destroyed. [4]
In 2011, 1,624 stalking protective order petitions (cases) were filed in New Hampshire. [5]
 
1.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2011
2. Judith McFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999)
3. Katrina Baum et al., “Stalking Victimization in the United States,” (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009)
4. Eric Blauuw et al., “The Toll of Stalking,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17, no. 1 (2002):50-63
5. New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, Ninth Report, October 2012
 

Get HELP Fast

Domestic Violence
24-hour Hotline
1-866-644-3574

Sexual Assault 24-hour Hotline
1-800-277-5570

Find a Crisis Center

Call our hotlines anywhere in New Hampshire for support. Stalking victims should call the Domestic Violence Hotline. TTY available at 1-800-Relay-NH.

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