Stalking is a serious problem within many relationships in which domestic violence occurs. In recognition of January as Stalking Awareness Month, we wanted to share staggering statistics and information about this form of abuse in hopes of educating the community about the dangers of stalking.
According to data released by the Stalking Prevention, Awareness and Resource Center (SPARC), the majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know, and stalking of a current or former partner is identified as an indicator that an abuser might be at risk to commit intimate partner homicide. In fact, 76% of intimate partner homicide victims who are women have been stalked by their partner.
Stalking is implemented by abusers through a variety of tactics, such as placing unwanted calls and texts, showing up unannounced to the victim’s home or approaching his or her family, surveilling the victim, damaging the victim’s property, and making threats against his or her safety.
If you or someone you know is experiencing stalking from a current or former intimate partner, HAWC can help. We recommend that victims document all occurrences and keep detailed notes, trust your instincts when you think you may be in danger, file police reports whenever possible, and consider filing for either a 209A restraining order or a 258E harassment prevention order; a HAWC legal advocate can help you determine which order is most appropriate for you and guide you through the application process. Additionally, HAWC advocates can work with you to create a safety plan, should any additional instances of the stalking continue.
HAWC has advocates stationed at the five courts within our service area: Salem, Peabody, Gloucester and Lynn District Courts and the Essex Probate and Family Court in Salem. Visit one of these courts during regular business hours to access HAWC services, and learn more about your options. You may also call our Main Office line at 978.744.8552 during regular business hours or our 24-hour hotline at 1.800.547.1649 anytime to learn more about HAWC’s services.
Being stalked can be incredibly scary and intimidating for survivors. You don’t need to face it alone. Reach out to HAWC today for support.
For more information and resources about stalking, please visit stalkingawareness.org.