January Is National Stalking Awareness Month

Madison—January is National Stalking Awareness Month. With stalking playing a part in recent high-profile domestic violence homicides in Wisconsin, domestic violence advocates here say there is urgency to raising awareness about this dangerous behavior.

Among other recent domestic violence homicides in the state, the perpetrator of the shooting at a suburban Milwaukee salon and the husband of slain Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Sebina stalked their victims immediately before the killings. The fact stalking was an element of these tragedies is not unusual. In one in five cases, stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten victims.[1] And, researchers have found stalking is associated with significantly higher risk of homicide for women in abusive relationships.[2]

“Stalking is a very serious tactic abusers use to control, intimate and terrorize their victims,” said Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV). “We need to ensure law enforcement, prosecutors, community members, victims and potential victims recognize stalking and understand the danger.”

Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate, and prosecute. Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but 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.[3] Annually, about six million Americans are stalked.

“If more people learn to recognize stalking,” said Seger, “we have a better chance to protect victims and save lives. Estimates suggest approximately 300,000 Wisconsin women have been stalked in their lifetimes. We have not fully grasped the extent of the problem nor have we dedicated enough resources to stopping this crime and keeping victims safe. Hopefully Stalking Awareness Month and the increased attention being paid to the connection between domestic violence and stalking will help us make progress.”

“I encourage anyone who is concerned about stalking behavior to call a local domestic violence victim service provider, the National Domestic Violence Hotline or visit website of the Stalking Resource Center,” concluded Seger.

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[1] Katrina Baum et al., “Stalking Victimization in the United States,” (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009).

[2] Jacquelyn C. Campbell et al., “Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multi-site Case Control Study,” American Journal of Public Health 93 (2003): 7.

[3] Baum, Stalking Victimization in the United States.

Selected Resources

2015-2016 End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin Legislative Agenda

This document summarizes End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin's top priorities for legislative advocacy during the 2015 to 2016 biennium. In determining what legislative efforts to support, End Abuse consults regularly with domestic violence programs, survivors of domestic violence, coordinated community response teams, and other professionals who work to address domestic violence. Our Legislative Agenda is a work in progress. We encourage legislators, local domestic violence programs, survivors and other professionals to contact us with potential legislative initiatives throughout the session.

Voting Guide for Advocates and Survivors

This guide is meant to help advocates assist their clients with the voting process. With recent law changes and court decisions, even the basics of how to cast a ballot can be very confusing  The guide covers voter registeration, ID requirements and determining where to vote. 

Recorded Webinar: Development and Maintenance of Policies Prohibiting Harassment of LGBTQ People 3-10-2015

THIS RECORDING

This webinar is about policies to promote inclusion of both LGBTQ clients and employees.  After viewing the webinar, participants will be able to list the types of policies that support an environment free of harassment and bullying of LGBTQ people, describe ways to assist staff in understanding and following the policies, and list the elements of a plan to monitor claims, address them seriously, and document their corrective action(s). 

VIEW AND LISTEN. You will be directed to a short survey and the link to the recorded webinar.

THE SERIES

The series is provided by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Domestic Abuse Program, and presented by Molly Herrmann, statewide training consultant and member of the End Domestic Abuse WI and WI Coalition Against Sexual Assault LGBTQ Committee. Services Act (FVPSA) federal requirements. Webinar 3 is Development and Maintenance of Policies Prohibiting  Discrimination and Harassment of LGBTQ People.

The series offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on organization practices and culture, and to build bridges between existing knowledge and skills and innovative, emerging practices, while also meeting the DCF training requirement.

All staff of DCF domestic violence programs receiving FVPSA funding must view each webinar live (February and March 2015) or recorded.

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

When you have completed the recorded webinar, download the certificate below.  It can be completed electronically or by hand and printed. Handouts are also available for download.