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.”
HOW TO HELP OR GET HELP
Gross said her coalition needs funds for making stalking kits, which include items useful to a victim of stalking. They include items for documenting the timeline of related incidents, disposable cameras and disposable gloves. To contribute, call Gross from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 524-0700.
Gross also urged anyone who is told by someone that they are a stalking victim to not joke about it but to take it seriously and listen.
For domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking hotline services, call the YWCA Domestic Violence Hotline at 917-9922, the YWCA Sexual Assault Hotline at 943-7273 (RAPE) or the Oklahoma statewide SafeLine at 800-522-7233. For immediate assistance, call 911.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 341-2121, ext. 108
January is National Stalking Awareness Month
Stalking victims face many issues, including fear.
- Local News
Tax code needs update
Tax reduction proposals that will likely be signed by Gov. Mary Fallin are contingent on revenue growth, State Treasurer Ken Miller said Thursday at the state Capitol.
“Our history has shown that we can manage that,” Miller said.
Is earthquake insurance for you?
Most Oklahomans have insurance covering their homes and businesses in case tornadoes roar overhead. But, fewer are protected against damage to their property when the ground rumbles underfoot.
AAA: Pump price jumps 22.5 cents
Prices for a gallon of gasoline are expected to increase 10-20 more cents this spring before falling after Memorial Day, the auto club AAA reports.
Anti-earthquake measures used in Safety Center construction
Extra concrete designed to counter the seismic waves created by earthquakes and waffle pans to help with high density record storage will be part of the new Public Safety Center.
Work is progressing in the basement and ground floor of the city’s new 70,000 square-foot, multi-story Public Safety Center at the southeast corner of First Street and Littler Avenue in downtown Edmond. It will house the Police Department and the Public Safety Communications Department.
Explore new foods during National Nutrition Month
Research confirms taste is the No. 1 reason why one food is purchased over another. So what are consumers to do when the taste of favorite foods starts to lose its luster? As part of the 2014 National Nutrition Month theme, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to explore new foods and flavors, keeping taste and nutrition on your plate at every meal.
Patton moves east for new corrections gig
In Robert C. Patton, Oklahoma is getting a new corrections director from Arizona who is more than willing to use private prisons as a means to deal with inmate overcrowding.
“I’m a (prison) bed manager. I’ll tell the policy makers I need beds, and if I can convince them that I need beds, then it’s their jobs on whether it’s public or private,” said Patton, whose first day as Oklahoma Corrections Department director began Tuesday.
Patton’s position on private prisons is far different than that of Jones, the former director who resigned in October following clashes with elected officials who wanted to put more inmates in private facilities.
The Oklahoma Board of Corrections last month approved a measure that allows the state to seek proposals from private prison companies to provide an additional 350 to 2,000 medium-security beds for state inmates.
OSU offers pecan management course
Whether you are a seasoned grower, new to the industry, or simply wanting information about it, the 2014 Fundamentals of Pecan Management course offered by Oklahoma State University will offer participants a wealth of research-based information.
Group asks neighborhoods to plant redbuds
Keep Edmond Beautiful is asking all neighborhood associations to rededicate themselves to purchase Oklahoma redbud trees for their neighborhood entrances.
Redbud Bloom is a program to fill traveling byways with Redbud trees to further beautify Edmond by having them bloom next year, said Saundra Naifeh, president KEB.
“Our goal was to plant 1,000 trees in five years and we are almost there,” Naifeh said.
KEB is partnering with the University of Central Oklahoma, which is planting an additional 200 Redbuds on its campus. Redbuds work well when planted nearby or under the cover of larger trees, Naifeh said at the recent Edmond Neighborhood Summit presented by the Edmond Neighborhood Alliance.
“It will be their 125th birthday and, Edmond is really going to stand out,” Naifeh said of 2015. “People will want to see how beautiful we are.”
Stalled museum project receives legislative support
The Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus expressed its unanimous support Wednesday of the state Senate measure that would help complete the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.
Senate Bill 1651 would appropriate $40 million from the state’s Unclaimed Property Fund, which would be matched with $40 million pledged by non-federal and non-state sources to finish the project.
Frigid U.S. weather means highest power prices since '08
Freezing temperatures gripping the eastern U.S. will result in the highest electricity prices in six years for consumers in Boston, Dallas and San Francisco.
- More Local News Headlines
- Tax code needs update