Attend National Stalking Awareness Month panel discussion

JOYCE MAHR

JOYCE MAHR

Betty Griffin House and Phi Alpha Omega of Flagler College team up to raise awareness that January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affected 6.6 million victims in one year. Historic City News readers are invited to attend an expert panel discussion, free of charge, on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, at 6:00 pm in the Gamache Koger Theater at the Ringhaver Student Center at Flagler College, to learn more.

The panel will include law enforcement members, victims of stalking, court advocates and others to promote awareness and public education about stalking during the annual observance.

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

Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate and prosecute. 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. Communities that understand stalking, however, can support victims and combat the crime.

Phi Alpha Omega is an all-women’s service organization at Flagler College dedicated to providing community service to Flagler College and the community of St Augustine. The women of Phi Alpha Omega are able to complete their community service goals through sisterhood and friendship.

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