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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U.S. News ranks city high schools in state’s Top 10
All three Edmond high schools are ranked among the Top 10 in the state in a prestigious national list.
U.S. News & World Report, which publishes annual rankings, ranked Edmond North No. 3 in Oklahoma and No. 437 nationwide. Memorial ranked No. 6 in Oklahoma and No. 847 nationwide. Santa Fe ranked No. 8 in Oklahoma and No. 1,075 nationwide.
“This recognition serves as validation for our students, parents and staff members at all levels who work together relentlessly in pursuit of academic excellence, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin said.
OC expands to 5 academic colleges
Oklahoma Christian University will expand from three to five colleges beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
OC’s five academic colleges will be the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural and Health Sciences.
“Our academic and leadership teams have been planning, praying and discussing how to build on OC’s legacy of exceptional success in science, engineering and business,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Our new colleges will focus on growth in these areas and implement strategic planning to help us serve more students.”
FBI seeks suspect in robbery of local bank
Police and FBI agents are investigating the robbery of a local bank by a suspect wearing a fake mustache and goatee, a spokesman said.
FBI Special Agent Martinus McConnell said the robbery occurred Tuesday morning at the Arvest Bank, 2025 Sonoma Park, Edmond.
Deer Creek students see bionic suit in action
In 2010, a car accident left Guthrie resident Mary Beth Davis paralyzed from the waist down.
In a few weeks, thanks to INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, determination and an Ekso Bionics suit, she will be walking across a stage to receive a college diploma from Oklahoma State University.
Wednesday afternoon, Davis was at Deer Creek Middle School where students of teacher Jamie Brehm got to see Davis and the suit in action and learn about how it helps people live a fuller life.
Brehm said the opportunity to have the demonstration fit perfectly with the testing schedule. Brehm said a bonus was having Davis with her inspirational story come to the school. In addition to graduating soon, Davis lives an independent life and she was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma.
Antique clock collection on display at Edmond Library
In a world that’s often hurried and brief, the Sooner Time Collectors have nothing but time. Oklahoma chapter members of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors have provided antique pieces from personal collections to display at the Edmond Library until the end of April.
Since the 1950s, Sooner Time Collectors have gathered to learn about the inner workings of clocks and to admire one-of-a-kind finds. Of interest to the community is their involvement with repairs for the Cowboy Hall of Fame clock and the UCO tower. They now have 35 members who meet monthly as a chapter of the 16,000-member NAWCC community across America and the world.
Be on the lookout for termites
Warming temperatures and spring rainfall means swarming conditions for the homeowners’ nemesis in Oklahoma — the termite.
Termites are Mother Nature’s way of recycling dead wood, as well as aerating the soil and increasing its fertility and water percolation. They are an important food source for other insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians and birds within the food web, and they are essential for the wellbeing of the environment.
Central students organize ‘Take Back the Night’ to end sexual violence
The University of Central Oklahoma’s National Organization for Women (UCO-NOW), Institute of Hope and the Violence Prevention Project will host a Take Back the Night (TBTN) march and rally to end violence, beginning 7 p.m. May 1 in Pegasus Theater in Central’s Liberal Arts building.
TBTN events date back to the early 1970s and focus on eliminating sexual violence in all forms. Thousands of colleges, universities, women’s centers and rape crisis centers have sponsored TBTN marches throughout the country.
Police investigate more home burglaries in Edmond
Residents have reported an additional seven home burglaries to the Edmond Police Department the day after an equal number occurred, according to city records.
Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said a detective is investigating the new incidents reported during the day on Tuesday. Monroe said similarities in them lead the agency to believe they are connected.
Tuesday’s reported burglaries occurred in different areas including near the Covell-Coltrane intersection and south of 15th Street along Santa Fe. According to city records, they were reported at:
Central community learns about water conservation
Edmond residents know about rain that falls from their roofs after a storm. Some may not know what kind of important role it plays in the nation’s water supply.
Tim Tillman, the University of Central Oklahoma’s sustainability coordinator, said UCO has a tradition of innovation in sustainable practices. Tillman said Earth Day, first brought to the campus more than 20 years ago, began that tradition.
During Tuesday’s Earth Day Fair, Jason Summers, a Coca-Cola account manager for on-premise sales, was giving away rain barrels and educating members of the Central Oklahoma community about the benefits of rain barrels.
Energy secretary touts CNG fleet conversion
Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague said the state is leading the way in converting its fleet of vehicles to run on compressed natural gas.
And, he adds, the state is working to get federal officials engaged in moving its fleet of vehicles in Oklahoma to use CNG.
Teague made those statements Tuesday during a visit to Champion CNG, 13915 N. Harvey Ave. in Edmond. The visit also coincided with Earth Day.
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