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Info available during Stalking Awareness Month

 

January 16, 2018



January brings attention to a national issue Havre is not isolated from — stalking.

National Stalking Awareness Month is a chance for people to brush up on their definition of what constitutes a stalker and perhaps acquire information that may help those being stalked.

Stalking is definitely an issue in Havre, said Kara Fox, the Domestic Abuse Program Director at District 4 Human Resources Development Council in Havre.

Because victims don’t always report stalkers, Fox said, HRDC employees do encourage them to do so.

Stalking is a crime. Montana code annotated 40-15-301 says District courts, justice’ courts, municipal courts and city courts have jurisdiction to issue protective orders.

Fox said some people are not aware, but order of protections can also be applied for through HRDC, which will then navigate the proper legal avenues to get it approved.

Stalking, according to StalkingAwarenessMonth.org, is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. A stalker can be someone the victim knows well or not at all. Most victims have dated or been involved with the people who stalk them.

Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men, the stalking awareness organization says.

Statistics about stalkers include:

• Two-third of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.

• Seventy-eight percent of stalkers use more than one means of approach.

• Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.

• Almost one-third of stalkers have stalked before.

• Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.

Some things stalkers do may include following victims and showing up wherever they are; sending unwanted gifts, letters, cards or emails; damaging victims’ home, car or other property; monitoring victims’ phone calls or computer use; using technology like hidden cameras or global positioning systems to track victims; driving by or hanging out at the victims’ home, school or work; threatening to hurt victims or their family, friends or pets; hiring investigators; going through victims’ garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors or co-workers; posting information or spreading rumors on the internet, in a public place or by word of mouth, about victims; or any other actions that control, track or frighten.

 

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