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Pinwheels Call Attention to Child Abuse, Ways to Identify and Prevent It!

April 1, 2012 Comments off

Many communities “plant pinwheel gardens” each April of colorful pinwheels spinning in the wind which represents a child living in the community who was abused last year.

April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month and many local organizations offer tips on preventing abuse.

Congress first declared April as National Child Abuse Awareness Month, a time designated each year to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect, in 1983, and each year the president issues a proclamation calling on Americans to use the month to help prevent child abuse.

The first step in helping abused children is learning to recognize the symptoms of child abuse.  Although child abuse is divided into four types – physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment – the types are more typically found in combination than alone.  A physically abused child for example is often emotionally maltreated as well, and a sexually abused child may be also neglected.  Any child at any age may experience any of the types of child abuse.

Child abuse leaves more than just bruises.  Long after children have recovered from the physical results of any type of abuse, abused children suffer from emotional and psychological trauma that can last the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately, many bystanders witness child abuse and do nothing about it. Neighbors and friends may hear or even see child abuse happening, but don’t want to intrude or interfere with “the rights” of the parents.  Such inaction can mean years of pain and heartbreak for young children who are unable to get out of a horrific situation.

Abused children need your intervention.  In their helplessness, they must rely on capable adults who are willing to take a stand and get them out of an abusive environment.  By being aware of child abuse, and helping to educate the people you know, you can help prevent child abuse in your community.

Identifying Child Abuse

While it is impossible to determine the presence of abuse or neglect by behavior, the following signs may signal the presence of child abuse or neglect:

The Child:

  • Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
  • Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parent’s attention
  • Has learning problems or difficulty concentrating that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
  • Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
  • Lacks adult supervision•Is overly compliant, passive or withdrawn
  • Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home

The Parent:

  • Shows little concern for the child
  • Denies the existence of, or blames the child for the child’s problems in school or at home
  • Asks teachers or other caretakers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
  • Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome
  • Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve
  • Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs

The Parent and the Child:

  • Rarely touch or look at each other
  • Consider their relationship entirely negative
  • State that they do not like each other

Preventing Child Abuse

Learn about child abuse.  Educate yourself and keep these key facts in mind:

  • Child abusers can be any age, any gender and any race.  They can be from any economic class, and have any level of education.
  • Children are more likely to be abused by their own parents than by a stranger.
  • Rarely does an incident of child abuse happen in isolation.  When a child is abused once, it is likely to happen again.
  • Educate your neighbors and friends about child abuse.

Stop child abuse when you see it.  If you have trouble identifying the difference between child abuse and acceptable forms of discipline, learn the Federal and State laws and find resources that distinguish between discipline and abuse.  Do not hesitate to contact the National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-Child).  During your anonymous call, their counselors can help you evaluate the situation and help you make a child abuse report to the proper authorities.  If you are nervous about making a report, they will even stay on the line during a 3-way call to offer you support.  If a child is in life-threatening danger, call 911 immediately.

It’s time that people take a stand against child abuse.  Your simple actions will help prevent child abuse and give abused children hope for a brighter future.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Stalking IS a C-R-I-M-E!

January 7, 2012 3 comments

STALKING IS A CRIME!

“He Was Really Scary…I Had a Stalker”

Me and my mom were volunteering to set up for a dance at a country club. We’d already volunteered a few times, but this time we met a few other volunteers there. There was a woman and her son. So her son kept coming up to me and asking me questions about how to set up the tables and where they kept the food we were supposed to put out, so basically all of the questions the guy who owned the place had already answered. I figured he just needed a friend. I wasn’t creeped out until he started staring at me. I would look at him and he would look away, but right when I looked away out of the corner of my eye I could see him looking at me again. I was kind of freaked out, so after I was done volunteering that day my mom said we could leave. I went to get my coat and he followed me and asked me if I was coming to the dance. I told him no, and he looked like he was very mad at me and he walked away. So me and my mom leave, and I forget about this guy. Then like 2 weeks later I get this phone call, and I answer and it’s the guy I met at the volunteering place. He asks me if I’m busy that day and I tell him sorry I am and he yells at me and hangs up. I never gave him my number and I wasn’t sure how he got it. Then he called later that night and said he was sorry for calling and yelling at me. He asks me if I’m busy the next day. I tell him I’m sorry but I am. He doesn’t say anything and he just says bye and hangs up. So basically he just kept calling me every day and asking me if I was busy. I got sick of him calling and when he would call I would have a family member answer and say I wasn’t home. Then in the middle of the night I was up and I was in the kitchen getting something to drink when I hear a knock at my slider door and I see him standing there with a flashlight. I screamed and then ran to my parents room. My dad gets up and he doesn’t see him and our door was locked so we know he didn’t get inside. I slept in their room and then a few months passed. He calls my house again and asks me why I didn’t let him in. I hang up on him and block his number. He gets another phone and calls my house and he asks why his girlfriend (me) blocked his number. I told him I wasn’t his girlfriend and he needs to leave me alone or I was going to call the cops. He chickens out for a few years. Then I’m in my senior year of high school and he comes to my door asking if I remember him. I tell him that I have a boyfriend and that he needs to go away. He waited outside my school in the parking lot and then he asked if i wanted a ride. I tell him no I have a ride and he gets mad and yells at me. I got a ride from one of my friends and he follows us so she drives around and eventually he gives up. A few days later her tires are slashed. I’m asleep in my room the next night and he breaks open my window and comes inside. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs but my parents are on a cruise and I’m the only one home. I was positive I was going to die. I finally stop screaming because I’m crying so hard and he’s just making it worse by trying to hug me and comfort me and crap and I start screaming for help. He says he’s going to take me somewhere and were going to run away together and while he’s saying his whole plan the cops get there. He tried to run but the cops cought him and then took him to prison. So now it’s years later and I’m married and I found out the neighbor across the street heard me screaming and called the cops when she saw the window broken. I also found out that the guy who owned the country club gave him my address because he said we left stuff there and he was going to bring it to our house. So I’ve never volunteered anywhere besides schools ever since then.

The above stalking victim wrote in her own words what and how her stalker stalked her.  I find that it helps to share with readers real life experiences of victims so just perhaps you will have a better understanding of the devastating effects that stalking have on victims of this serious crime.

As you can see stalking cases are carried out by ex-partners or by someone that you have never had close relationship with, many victims have never even met their stalker. Often a victim’s stalker can be someone known through work, or a friend of a friend or it could be someone you pass on the street. And with the internet as huge as it is, sometimes people never set eyes on their stalker.

One of the main problems is that so many of us are brought up to be polite and kind, and rather to rebuff unwanted attention, we often let it go. We find ourselves in slightly awkward situations and do not make it clear that we are unhappy. For example, with repeated text messages from someone we don’t know well, we might reply politely to one or two. After that we might ignore them, when perhaps the best although not necessarily the easiest thing to do is say that you do not want any more texts. The number of stalking victims are alarming and terrifying.

Victims must get help that they need and deserve. Until a victim speaks to someone who has been stalked, you never will fully understand how terrifying it truly is. Being stalked is extremely distressing, a victim is used as a plaything for the stalker’s amusement.

Stalking is a serious crime which usually hits the headlines when it’s linked to A-list celebs, but falling prey to a stalker is something that never crosses most of our minds. Stalking is on the rise as both women and men are being targeted by predatory stalkers.

If you are stalked:

First and foremost, have no contact with your stalker.

  • Show no emotion, regardless of how scared or angry you are. Never confront or agree to meet your stalker.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable reach out for help.
  • Carry a cell phone with you at all times. Keep handy, memorize emergency phone numbers or program them into your speed dial in case of an emergency.
  • Call your local law enforcement and file a report of all incidents.
  • Tell your friends, family, neighbors, work colleagues and employer. All have the right to know what is happening for your safety as well as their own.
  • Try not to travel alone. Always vary your routes to and from work or school, the grocery store and any other places regularly visited. By changing your daily routes, it could make it more difficult for someone to learn your routine. If you run or walk for exercise, always get a friend (buddy) to go with you.
  • Keep evidence like texts, emails, letters and parcels. Record anything that could be proof and keep Stalker and Incident Behavior Log for reference.
  • If you are being followed, try to stay calm. If you’re driving, head for the nearest police department to get help.
  • If you ever feel in imminent danger, call 911.

The more the public becomes aware of the effects and toll that stalking can do to a victim – perhaps the more we will realize that STALKING IS A CRIME and it is NEVER the victim’s fault.

Every day should be an internal check about every awareness. Focusing on just one month a year of any specific cause is so minuet as the EPIDEMIC of assaults on females are off the charts.

STALKING: KNOW IT. NAME IT. STOP IT.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Security On Campus and Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment Launch Unprecedented Approach to Shattering the Silence of College Sexual Violence

May 26, 2011 Comments off

For Immediate Release

Via Security On Campus, Inc.
May 26, 2011

Washington, DC -Soon-to-be high school graduates entering college this fall may not realize there’s more to worry about than getting good grades. Many should be worrying about sexual violence.

PAVE and SOC announce the launch of the “Safe Campus, Strong Voices” Campaign to follow today’s introduction of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act – national legislation designed to help campuses better respond to and prevent sexual violence. “Safe Campus, Strong Voices” is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and shatter the silence of college sexual violence. To end the epidemic of campus sexual violence, students and faculty, men and women, will to work together to create safer and more supportive campuses.

According to the US Department of Justice, 1 in 4 college women will be sexually assaulted, and the majority of those sexual assaults happen fall semester to freshmen and sophomore women. An astounding 95.2% of these will never be reported. Addressing this issue is critical when thinking about the safety of everyone in that environment.

PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment and SOC: Security On Campus, Inc. are joining together with other leading sexual assault groups for this campaign during September for National Campus Safety Awareness Month.

“Safe Campus, Strong Voices” focuses on prevention of sexual assault and raising awareness of the high level of under reporting by victims of these crimes. NPR’s recent series “Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes” reveals how most colleges are not successfully dealing with this issue. The campaign will empower students as bystanders to make changes in their campus environment, and encourage victims to seek justice.

PAVE Founder Angela Rose said “Every time I speak on a college campus, there’s a line of students who want to disclose that they have been affected by sexual assault and most have never reported. This unprecedented campaign will help build the national movement to shatter the silence of sexual violence on college campuses.”

SOC and PAVE have put together tool kits to create effective, simple-to-run campaigns in an ever-busy campus environment. The campaign provides materials, training, and ideas to bring prevention education programs to campus, to hold tabling events, and to collaborate with other groups and offices on campus throughout the month of September and beyond. On September 30, all participating groups across the country will stand in solidarity by holding simultaneous rallies. They will encourage reporting of sexual assault and a culture shift to create the safest most supportive campus community for survivors of sexual violence.

“This campaign seeks to shed light on crimes that so greatly impact the lives of far too many college students every year,” said Melissa Lucchesi, SOC’s Outreach Education Coordinator. “By speaking out and encouraging a supportive response to sexual assault survivors, students across the country will be a part of a movement that creates ripples of change in their campus community.”

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Sexual Assault Can Be Prevented

April 12, 2011 5 comments

It can happen at home. It can happen at work. It can happen in a car. It can happen in a dorm. Sexual assault occurs whenever someone is forced, coerced or manipulated into any unwanted sexual activity. The list of offenses is graphic and includes rape, incest, date rape, marital rape, sexual harassment, child sexual assault, stranger rape, forced prostitution, exposure, voyeurism and statutory rape. Silence continues to surround the topic of sexual assault, yet according to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, one in six American women and one in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Seventy three percent of rapes were committed by a non-stranger — a friend, intimate, relative or acquaintance. In other words, sexual assaults are happening more often to people we love by people they know, rather than the stranger hiding in the bushes. And it’s happening to our daughters, mothers, girlfriends, sons and co-workers.

There are many myths that still exist today that place blame on the victim, such as past consensual sex, whether alcohol was involved and even the type of clothing worn by the victim. No one, under any circumstances, deserves to be sexually assaulted . Period. Sexual assault is not about sexual desire gone wrong but about power and control over another, utilizing sex as a weapon. Most often sexual assault happens as a pervasive result of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that assert male privilege over females, as evidenced by advertising, music videos, video games and other media. When males are taught to respect their peers, both male and female, how to understand boundaries, the elements of consent and how to appropriately challenge negative behaviors of peers, then change at the individual level can happen. However, beyond individual responsibility, we need organizations that support the redefining of positive parameters that define masculinity beyond brute strength and sexual activity. We need organizations that challenge young people to develop effective communication and negotiation skills for healthy relationships. We need systems that support victims and understand the devastating impact of trauma due to sexual assault. We need churches, educational institutions, community agencies, parents and youth organizations to step out of the box and talk about sexual assault in authentic, informed and creative ways.

Sexual violence is preventable. However, prevention is more than educating individuals concerning objectification and healthy sexual boundaries. By following the Spectrum of Prevention, a tool developed by the Prevention Institute and tailored by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, communities like yours can participate in comprehensive sexual-violence prevention initiatives. The spectrum consists of strengthening individual knowledge and skills, promoting community education, educating professional providers, fostering coalitions and networks, changing organizational practices and, finally, influencing policies and legislation.

Programs to help youth navigate the maze of relationships that often includes violence in many forms. Teens-4-Change is a social-change organization for young women ages 14 to 18 that focuses on healthy bodies, minds and relationships. R.A.P., Raising Awareness and Prevention, works with males at the high-school and college level to challenge pervasive attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that perpetuate sexual violence.

Take the opportunity during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, to learn more, do more and understand more about an issue that affects entire communities. Challenge leaders to reinforce positive cultural norms and send clear and consistent messages that sexual violence is traumatic in any form, as well as inappropriate. Because sexual violence happens in all races, socio-economic classes, genders and age groups, we need to send the message to everyone that no one, under any circumstances, should be blamed for being sexually violated. Intervention is important and necessary; however, primary prevention, stopping sexual violence before it ever starts, is a worthy goal for ALL communities.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

 

 

Contributor Al Renna

Risk Assessment of Stalking and Safety Plan Suggestions…

January 23, 2011 Comments off

What is stalking?

While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Stalking is another form of Power and Control; in reality it is mental abuse.

Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.

Risk Assessment

Questions to ask a victim:  Has anyone ever:

  • Followed or spied on you more than twice?
  • Made repeated, unwanted phone calls to you?
  • Stood outside your home, school, office?
  • Left unwanted gifts or items for you to find?
  • Vandalized or damaged your property?
  • Repeatedly threatened you/those close to you?
  • Showed up at places you were for no apparent reason?

Safety Plan Suggestions for Victims of Stalking

  • IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY, CALL 911
  • Do not attempt to negotiate with a stalker, do not have any contact or communication.
  • Telling a stalker ten times to leave you alone is nine times too many, be consistent.
  • If you have an order of protection, carry it with you at all times, keep extra copies.
  • If you think you are being stalked, call the police.  Make sure each incident is reported to the police, keep the complaint number and obtain a copy of the report.  Immediately begin to keep a behavior log for your case.
  • Allow an answering machine to screen all of your phone calls and save the messages.  Save any letter(s), emails, text messages, packages or gifts from the stalker.
  • Vary your routes to and from work or school.  Inform your building, office or campus security guards that someone is stalking you.  Travel with a companion whenever possible.
  • Keep your windows and doors locked securely at home and in your car.
  • Obtain a cellular phone for use outside of your home and in your car.  You do not have to have service or a contract with a cellular company to dial 911, just be sure to keep the cell phone charged.
  • Install deadbolts (one keyed AND one keyless) on every exterior door.  Have your existing doorknob locks changed as well as any existing keyed deadbolts and keep extra keys.  Secure windows with safety devices appropriate for the type of sliding glass door or window.  If possible, install a motion sensor light and an alarm system.  Keep lights and a radio or television on at different times.  Don’t sleep near a window and keep your shades drawn.
  • Tell trusted family members, friends, neighbors and employers that you are being stalked.  Provide them with a photo and description of the stalker and any vehicle information they he/she may drive.
  • Obtain an unlisted phone number or a phone number in someone else’s name.  Use a pager and give the number only to close family members and friends that WILL NOT have contact with the stalker.
  • If you feel that you are being followed, drive to a police or fire station.  Do not drive home.
  • Install wide-angle viewers and positively identify all visitors before opening your door.  Have a “peephole” installed on exterior doors and use them before opening your doors.
  • Visually  check front and rear passenger compartments before entering your vehicle, check your tires and vehicle for damage.  Always park in well lit areas.
  • If you have children, notify their schools of the situation, provide a photo and description with explicit instructions in writing.
  • Maintain a private post office box if your residence is confidential.
  • Obtain Caller Id, order a complete blocking of your phone number to ensure your number is not disclosed.  Utilize anonymous call reject or call blocking.  Notify the annoyance call bureau of harassing phone calls.  After you have filed a police report, you may be eligible for call tracing.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Stalking IS a C-R-I-M-E!

January 5, 2011 Comments off

STALKING IS A CRIME!

“He Was Really Scary…I Had a Stalker”

Me and my mom were volunteering to set up for a dance at a country club. We’d already volunteered a few times, but this time we met a few other volunteers there. There was a woman and her son. So her son kept coming up to me and asking me questions about how to set up the tables and where they kept the food we were supposed to put out, so basically all of the questions the guy who owned the place had already answered. I figured he just needed a friend. I wasn’t creeped out until he started staring at me. I would look at him and he would look away, but right when I looked away out of the corner of my eye I could see him looking at me again. I was kind of freaked out, so after I was done volunteering that day my mom said we could leave. I went to get my coat and he followed me and asked me if I was coming to the dance. I told him no, and he looked like he was very mad at me and he walked away. So me and my mom leave, and I forget about this guy. Then like 2 weeks later I get this phone call, and I answer and it’s the guy I met at the volunteering place. He asks me if I’m busy that day and I tell him sorry I am and he yells at me and hangs up. I never gave him my number and I wasn’t sure how he got it. Then he called later that night and said he was sorry for calling and yelling at me. He asks me if I’m busy the next day. I tell him I’m sorry but I am. He doesn’t say anything and he just says bye and hangs up. So basically he just kept calling me every day and asking me if I was busy. I got sick of him calling and when he would call I would have a family member answer and say I wasn’t home. Then in the middle of the night I was up and I was in the kitchen getting something to drink when I hear a knock at my slider door and I see him standing there with a flashlight. I screamed and then ran to my parents room. My dad gets up and he doesn’t see him and our door was locked so we know he didn’t get inside. I slept in their room and then a few months passed. He calls my house again and asks me why I didn’t let him in. I hang up on him and block his number. He gets another phone and calls my house and he asks why his girlfriend (me) blocked his number. I told him I wasn’t his girlfriend and he needs to leave me alone or I was going to call the cops. He chickens out for a few years. Then I’m in my senior year of high school and he comes to my door asking if I remember him. I tell him that I have a boyfriend and that he needs to go away. He waited outside my school in the parking lot and then he asked if i wanted a ride. I tell him no I have a ride and he gets mad and yells at me. I got a ride from one of my friends and he follows us so she drives around and eventually he gives up. A few days later her tires are slashed. I’m asleep in my room the next night and he breaks open my window and comes inside. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs but my parents are on a cruise and I’m the only one home. I was positive I was going to die. I finally stop screaming because I’m crying so hard and he’s just making it worse by trying to hug me and comfort me and crap and I start screaming for help. He says he’s going to take me somewhere and were going to run away together and while he’s saying his whole plan the cops get there. He tried to run but the cops cought him and then took him to prison. So now it’s years later and I’m married and I found out the neighbor across the street heard me screaming and called the cops when she saw the window broken. I also found out that the guy who owned the country club gave him my address because he said we left stuff there and he was going to bring it to our house. So I’ve never volunteered anywhere besides schools ever since then.

The above stalking victim wrote in her own words what and how her stalker stalked her.  I find that it helps to share with readers real life experiences of victims so just perhaps you will have a better understanding of the devastating effects that stalking have on victims of this serious crime.

As you can see stalking cases are carried out by ex-partners or by someone that you have never had close relationship with, many victims have never even met their stalker. Often a victim’s stalker can be someone known through work, or a friend of a friend or it could be someone you pass on the street. And with the internet as huge as it is, sometimes people never set eyes on their stalker.

One of the main problems is that so many of us are brought up to be polite and kind, and rather to rebuff unwanted attention, we often let it go. We find ourselves in slightly awkward situations and do not make it clear that we are unhappy. For example, with repeated text messages from someone we don’t know well, we might reply politely to one or two. After that we might ignore them, when perhaps the best although not necessarily the easiest thing to do is say that you do not want any more texts. The number of stalking victims are alarming and terrifying.

Victims must get help that they need and deserve. Until a victim speaks to someone who has been stalked, you never will fully understand how terrifying it truly is. Being stalked is extremely distressing, a victim is used as a plaything for the stalker’s amusement.

Stalking is a serious crime which usually hits the headlines when it’s linked to A-list celebs, but falling prey to a stalker is something that never crosses most of our minds. Stalking is on the rise as both women and men are being targeted by predatory stalkers.

If you are stalked:

First and foremost, have no contact with your stalker.

  • Show no emotion, regardless of how scared or angry you are. Never confront or agree to meet your stalker.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable reach out for help.
  • Carry a cell phone with you at all times. Keep handy, memorize emergency phone numbers or program them into your speed dial in case of an emergency.
  • Call your local law enforcement and file a report of all incidents.
  • Tell your friends, family, neighbors, work colleagues and employer. All have the right to know what is happening for your safety as well as their own.
  • Try not to travel alone. Always vary your routes to and from work or school, the grocery store and any other places regularly visited. By changing your daily routes, it could make it more difficult for someone to learn your routine. If you run or walk for exercise, always get a friend (buddy) to go with you.
  • Keep evidence like texts, emails, letters and parcels. Record anything that could be proof and keep Stalker and Incident Behavior Log for reference.
  • If you are being followed, try to stay calm. If you’re driving, head for the nearest police department to get help.
  • If you ever feel in imminent danger, call 911.

The more the public becomes aware of the effects and toll that stalking can do to a victim – perhaps the more we will realize that STALKING IS A CRIME and it is NEVER the victim’s fault.

Every day should be an internal check about every awareness. Focusing on just one month a year of any specific cause is so minuet as the EPIDEMIC of assaults on females are off the charts.

STALKING: KNOW IT. NAME IT. STOP IT.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Who Becomes a Stalker?

January 4, 2011 3 comments

STALKING IS A CRIME!

Once you’ve been a victim, you know how life-destroying stalking can be.

Who Becomes a Stalker?

Stalkers are usually isolated and lonely, coming from the “disadvantaged” of our society; however, a stalker can occupy any place in our entire social spectrum. Often, the stalking may be triggered by a significant trauma or loss in the life of the perpetrator, usually within at least seven years of the stalking behavior.   (For example, relationship dissolution or divorce, job termination, loss/potential loss of a child, or an ill parent.)  Most stalkers are not psychotic.  In a comparative study of psychotic versus non-
psychotic stalkers (Mullen et al. 1999), 63% of the sample was found to be suffering from a common psychiatric condition, such as major depression, personality disorder, or substance dependence–with personality disorder being the most common diagnosis.

Ex-intimates: Common stalkers are people who previously shared a romantic relationship with the victim, and former intimates are the most common type of stalking target.   This can be either from a long or short term relationship.

Family members: A stalker may target a member of their family, such as a parent or sibling.   This would most likely be a resentful or rejected stalker, and they would target a family member they feel had rejected,  humiliated, or abused them in the past.

Friends and Acquaintances: The victim may be stalked by an intimacy seeker or an incompetent suitor motivated by a desire to start a romantic relationship with the victim.  The victim may be stalked by a resentful stalker, typically a neighbor, who may be involved in a disagreement with the victim about something such as noise, the location of a tree, or pets.

Workplace Contacts: In their study of stalkers, Mullen (et al) found that 23% had a professional relationship with their victim, most often a medical practitioner.  Other stalkers may be supervisors, fellow employees, service providers, clients, or others who show up at the victim’s workplace. Stalking behaviors directed at the victim may include:  sexual harassment, physical and sexual assaults, robberies, or even homicide.  A violent workplace stalker usually has a history of poor job performance, a high rate of absenteeism, and a record of threats and confrontations with people they resent in the workplace.

Victims often do not tell their co-workers or supervisors about the person who is stalking them because they fear reprisals from the stalker or other employees, don’t think they will be believed, or feel embarrassed about the situation.

Doctors, nurses, psychologists, or other health care providers may become the targets of stalking by obsessed clients or patients.   (Or the other way around)  Teachers may become stalked by students.  (Or the other way around.)  Psychiatrists are at particular risk for being the targets of stalking because of their contact with people with psychiatric conditions.

Strangers: respond politely.  These are most commonly Intimacy Seekers and Incompetent Suitors, but may also be Predatory stalkers or Resentful stalkers.  These stalkers may hide their identity from their victims at first, and reveal it after stalking their victim for some time in order to get closer to them. Victims may be initially flattered when stalker approaches them and date with their stalker, after many requests.  This can have the unintentional effect of encouraging the stalker, and making them believe that their love is reciprocated.

Gender: Stalkers are far more likely to be male, however, women can also become stalkers.   Women are more likely to  target someone they have known, usually a  professional contact.  Men are less likely to pursue other men, while females will often target other females.  The majority of female stalkers are intimacy seekers seeking to establish relationships, whereas men show a broader range of motivations, and are more often to be seeking to restore relationships.  Women are as likely to use violence as men, and there does not tend to be a difference between genders regarding the duration of  a stalking.  Thus, while the contexts and motives for stalking may differ between men and women, the intrusiveness of the behaviors and potential for harm does not.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

 

“Stalking: Real Fear, Real Crime”

January 3, 2011 1 comment

The video, “Stalking: Real Fear, Real Crime,” is a training tape produced through the collaborative efforts of the National Center for Victims of Crime, Lifetime Television, and LMNO Productions.

This 18-minute training tape was inspired by the tragic death of Peggy Klinke. Ms. Klinke was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend in January 2003. While the tape is designed primarily for use with law enforcement officers, it is an educational tool that can be used with a wide variety of audiences. The first segment of the tape portrays Peggy’s story and illustrates the methods stalkers use to terrorize their victims and the dramatic effect of stalking on victims’ lives. Retired Lieutenant Mark Wynn, nationally recognized stalking expert and law enforcement trainer, is featured in the second segment.

Stalking is a lethal crime. It affects more than one million women and nearly 400,000 men in America each year. Tragically, seventy-six percent of female homicide victims were also stalked in the year prior to their murder. More than half of these victims reported the stalking to police before being murdered. It is the hope of Peggy Klinke’s family that this tape will give officers the information and tools they need to effectively intervene in stalking cases.

Compliments of Lifetime Television and the National Center for Victim’s of Crime National Stalking Resource Center

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Anny

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