Stalking victims face many issues, including fear.
For stalking victims, the most common fear is not knowing what would happen next. Others fear death, fear the behavior will never stop or they fear bodily harm to themselves, their child or another family member, according to a 2009 Bureau of Justice Statistics special report on stalking victimization in the United States.
January is National Stalking Awareness Month, according to a presidential proclamation issued by the White House.
Stalking is dangerous and surprisingly common, especially among victims of domestic violence, according to YWCA Oklahoma City. Both females and males can become targets and it inflicts emotional, economic, even physical harm on victims every day in central Oklahoma.
Stalking can happen at a very early age. One in five women and nearly one in seven men who ever experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner first experienced some form of intimate partner violence between age 11-17.
Sunshine Gross, assistant executive director for the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said awareness about stalking is increasing in Oklahoma, meaning stalkers are losing control, creating friction.
Gross said while progress is being made in areas like educating members of law enforcement, more needs to be done. Her wish list includes making a first stalking offense a felony, continuing the effort to educate law enforcement officers, doing more to understand the trauma victims experience and securing more funding for awareness events.
In Oklahoma, stalking occurs when someone repeatedly follows or harasses a victim in a way that makes them feel scared, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested; or when someone commits a “course of conduct” consisting of a series of two or more separate acts or unconsented contact with a victim that occur over a period of time; it can be a short period of time.
The contact must have begun or been continued by the stalker without a victim’s consent or in disregard of the victim’s expressed desire to avoid or discontinue the contact.
Nationally, stalking has been an issue on many college campuses. Locally, it has been a limited issue at the University of Central Oklahoma, where 90 percent of students commute, said campus Police Chief Jeff Harp.
If someone feels they are being stalked, they should report it immediately to the appropriate agency, Harp said. If a victim isn’t sure of jurisdiction, UCO Police Services can help determine that and provide other help through the school’s support network. UCO Police Services will also work within the school’s related policy and the district attorney.
Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said stalking is a crime some are reluctant to report, one that comes in many forms, like unwanted contact, texts, phone calls and messages via social media websites.
“It is common for victims of stalking to know the offender in some fashion as in a coworker, an acquaintance, a neighbor,” Monroe said. “The best thing possible is to report it to police if you are being stalked. Save the information if it is coming in the form of a text or email, etc.”
January is National Stalking Awareness Month
Stalking victims face many issues, including fear.
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Shootout of a sale
An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 60.
Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house
UCO forensic researcher answers key question
After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
“You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”
Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.
Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs
Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.
Local church welcomes new pastor
For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.
Keith, 5 others to receive service awards
The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.
Anderson Properties continues to grow
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.
Logan County pays off jail tax early, seeks new one
Logan County is paying off a sales tax ahead of schedule and needs a new one to be able to afford funding jail operation and maintenance, officials said.
Citizens vote on the county sales tax which is split for redistribution by state law. The tax is collected by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and redistributed back to the county as specified by voters.
In 2005, citizens passed a 10-year sales tax, scheduled to end next month, to fund the building, operation and maintenance of the county jail, which operates on a $1.3 million budget. Jail capacity is 188 without anyone in a holding cell or a temporary bunk. Thursday it was holding 130 inmates, said Logan County Chief Deputy Richard Stephens.
Local man relies on experience in July 4 emergency
Andy Billups just happened to have gained experience as a combat zone firefighter/medic while he was serving as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
The Edmond businessman just happened to have a friend with a place on Grand Lake where he has been viewing Independence Day fireworks for a number of years, and he just happened to be there July 4.
And he just happened to be relaxing on a hammock when he heard a some kids making a commotion.
Located two blocks east of Disney on State Highway 28 in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in northeast Oklahoma, the 59,000-plus surface acre Grand Lake is known for its state parks, marinas, restaurants, motels and fishing.
5-year-old learns valuable lessons
It is never too soon to learn about giving and receiving. An Edmond 5-year-old recently learned about both.
Kendall Kingry will be entering kindergarten at Will Rogers Elementary this fall and she is already looking forward to November.
“I get to go to Disneyland in November,” Kendall said.
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