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January Is National Stalking Awareness Month

Stalking generally refers to harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person's property (Stalking in America: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998).

Although the federal government, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories have enacted criminal laws to address stalking, the legal definition of stalking varies across jurisdictions. State laws vary in the level of victim fear and emotional distress addressed as well as the requisite intent of the stalker. Some state laws specify that the victim must be frightened by the stalking, whereas others require only that the stalking would cause a reasonable person to experience fear. State laws also vary on what level of fear is required to be considered stalking (Stalking Victims in the United States—Revised, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2012).

In recognition of National Stalking Awareness Month in January, NCJRS invites you to view the Stalking Awareness Special Feature, an online compilation of stalking-related publications and resources.


OVC Help Series for Crime Victims: Stalking
Office for Victims of Crime

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

Voices From the Field: Stalking
National Institute of Justice

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Related Resources

National Institute of Justice: Stalking

Office for Victims of Crime: Stalking

Stalking Resource Center

The Use of Technology to Stalk: An Online Course

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Conduct a search of our Q&A knowledge base where you'll find answers to questions such as:

How do I obtain an order of protection?
To obtain an order of protection, please contact your local district attorney or prosecutor's office ... Read More

What can I do if I am a victim of stalking?
If you are a victim of stalking, call your local police department's emergency number (911) to report ... Read More

What kind of behavior is considered stalking?
Comprehensive information about stalking is available in the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services ... Read More

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