The numbers are staggering. Each year, more than 7.5 million women and men find themselves victims of stalking, resulting in serious emotional and physical ramifications. Stalking affects approximately 15 percent of women and six percent of men in their lifetime. Half of all victims are stalked before the age of 25.
According to Lauren Shaivitz, program director at CHANA, a program of The Associated: Jewish Community of Baltimore, there is a strong correlation between stalking and homicide. Also, a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that teens who were stalked were more likely to report symptoms linked to depression and engage in risky behaviors such as binge drinking and sexting.
We asked Shaivitz to talk about the issue and how CHANA can help.
How has stalking changed? The stereotypical view of stalking is that of the ex-boyfriend who destroys property or sends threatening notes. Although that still happens, stalking has moved to the cyber world. Today, with the advent of technology, stalkers may use it to learn more information about their victims than was previously available. Through vehicles such as social media, cell phones and the internet, they may spread rumors as well as harass and defame a person’s character. We’ve even seen an increase in stalkers placing tracking and listening devices in cars and phones so victims are not aware they are being stalked.
Devices? Yes. The stalker can monitor what’s going on in their victim’s lives, listening to conversations through cell phones and reading personal texts and emails. They may even use cameras to watch what one is doing. And tracking devices tell stalkers where their victims are at any given time. Click to read entire article.
If you know someone who may be a victim of stalking, contact CHANA at 410-234-0023 or go to chanabaltimore.org.