National Stalking Awareness Month

400-JANUARY-STALKING-AWARENBetty Griffin House Community Awareness Coordinator; Kim Brumfield, informed local Historic City News reporters that they will team with Flagler College service organization, Phi Alpha Omega, to promote awareness and public education about stalking.

January is National Stalking Awareness Month; and, during the annual observance, the group will offer a panel discussion with law enforcement experts, victims of stalking, court advocates and others to focus on a crime that affected 6.6 million victims in one year.

“Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate and prosecute,” said Joyce Mahr, Executive Director at Betty Griffin House. “If more people learn to recognize stalking, we have a better chance of protecting victims and preventing tragedies.”

Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime, but a series of acts, a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause that person fear.

Stalking may take many forms, such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts or visits.

One in four victims reports that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, global positioning system devices or hidden cameras, to track the victim’s daily activities.

Stalkers fit no standard psychological profile, and many stalkers follow their victims from one jurisdiction to another, making it difficult for authorities to investigate and prosecute their crimes.

There is no charge to attend the presentation on Thursday, January 30, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the Gamache Koger Theater at the Ringhaver Student Center on the Flagler College campus. Lion’s Den Karate will be part of the program and will demonstrate basic self-defense moves that could save your life.

Communities that understand stalking can support victims and combat the crime, Mahr told reporters. For additional resources or to get help, please call the Betty Griffin House 24-Hour hotline at 904-824-1555.

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