January is National Stalking Awareness Month

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, one in 12 women will be stalked in their lifetime and one 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. There 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 only 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 1.800.91.HELP.1.

This article is brought to you in part by the Door County Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to Domestic Violence Team.