Coordinated Community Response Column

January is National Stalking Awareness Month, which provides an opportunity to discuss a very hidden and disturbing behavior. According to the Stalking Resource Center, stalking can be defined as a series of actions that make one feel afraid or in danger. Stalking behavior can range from repeated phone calls to cyber stalking. Yet, no matter what the behavior, stalking is very serious, often violent and can escalate over time. Statistically, 1 in 12 women will be stalked in their lifetime and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime.

As a society we visualize the stalker as the mysterious, shadowy figure that hides in alleys and peeps in our window; and although that is a reality for some, the majority of victims know their stalkers. In fact 77 percent of female and 64 percent of male victims know their perpetrator. This is a real fear for many people living within our community. At times many victims feel hopeless and frustrated.

Here are some effective strategies that can help to reduce some stalking behaviors:

1) If you are being stalked call 911, or if you feel that someone’s behavior could be considered stalking, do not hesitate to call the police and discuss the situation with them.

2) Take threats seriously.

3) Do not communicate with the stalker.

4) Keep evidence of stalking. There are many useful stalking log sheets available online or at the HELP of Door County office. Remember to write down every incident including the date, time and what happened.

5) Consider getting a court order to protect you. You have rights as a victim. Find out what your rights are.

6) Contact your local victim services agency or domestic/sexual violence agency.

7) Develop a safety plan.

8) Tell your family and friends what is happening.

9) Trust your instincts. If you feel that something is not right or you have a bad feeling, do something about it.

At Help Of Door County, Inc., we see many Door County community members who are victims of stalking. We see the fear and frustration that they feel when stalking behavior escalates over time. As a Door County Community member please help the people in your lives that are victims of stalking by sharing the information above. If you would like more information on stalking, please visit the Stalking Resource Center at or call HELP of Door County, Inc. at 920.743.8818 or 800.91.HELP.1.

The Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence Team (CCR) is committed to the prevention of domestic violence by coordinating a consistent message and response to domestic violence. It is also dedicated to promoting cooperation, coordination, communication, and education among the criminal justice and other community systems with service providers, thus creating a safe community environment for victims of abuse, ensuring that abusers are held accountable for their behavior and decreasing the tolerance for violence in the community. Printed above is a column from CCR to promote education within the Door County community.