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Related Services > SAVE Program > Violence Prevention Information > Stalking Prevention

 

 | Prevention Ideas | Getting Help |

 

STALKING: WHAT IT IS AND WHAT I SHOULD DO IF IT HAPPENS TO ME?

Stalking: Stalking is a very real problem for 1.4 million Americans, 1 of 12 women and 1 of 45 men has been stalked sometime in their life. The majority of stalking victims are ordinary people like you and me.

 

Nebraska State Statutes (Section 28-311.03) defines stalking as: Any person who willfully harasses another person with the intent to injure, terrify, threaten or intimidate commits the offense of stalking.

 

Section 28-311.02 of the statute indicates the legislative intent and defines the terms as::

(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact laws dealing with stalking offenses which will protect victims from being willfully harassed, intentionally terrified, threatened, or intimidated by individuals who intentionally follow, detain, stalk, or harass them or impose any restraint on their personal liberty and which will not prohibit constitutionally protected activities.

(2) For purposes of sections 28-311.02 to 28-311.05, 28-311.09 and 28-311.10:

(a) Harass means to engage in a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously terrifies, threatens or intimidates the person and which serves no legitimate purpose; and

(b) Course of conduct means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time,however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose, including a series of acts of following, detaining, restrainingthe personal liberty of, or stalking the person or telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the person.

Thirty- two states also consider the stalker's intent to instill fear as illegal, with all but six states defining criminal stalking as any activity that would instill fear in a reasonable person.

 

With the publication of the Model Anti-Stalking Code in 1994, law enforcement agencies are beginning to realize that a threat doesn't require words. A hand that's pointed at you in the shape of a gun delivers a message that is loud and clear, especially if it follows threatening or intrusive correspondence or telephone calls. A bouquet of black roses delivered to your home, a dead animal received in the mail or a photograph with your image crossed out can convey the same sentiment. Yet in many states these very obvious threats would be inadmissible in a court of law.

 

While many stalkers do not attack, the threat of violence is usually inferred. Which means that even those victims who are not physically harmed suffer tremendously in terms of fear, anxiety, and the disruption of their daily lives.

 

Unfortunately, victims simply do not know what to do when confronted with being stalked. Neither does law enforcement nor the judicial system. Why? In many cases, stalkers successfully terrorize their victims without ever breaking the law.

 

While there are different kinds of stalking, invariably the stalker tries to establish a cult dynamic of one. It is a power and control trip through which the stalker tries to distort the victim's sense of reality. In many ways, stalking is like a rape that goes on and on.

 

 

 

_________________________
Ron Vick, MA, LPC
Counselor / Academic Advisor
Int'l Student Advisor

 

 

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