On December 18, the Senate passed, by unanimous consent, S. Res. 414, a resolution designating January 2008 as “National Stalking Awareness Month.”
Sponsored by Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:
an estimated 1,006,970 women and 370,990 men are stalked annually in the United States and, in the majority of such cases, the person is stalked by someone who is not a stranger;
eighty-one percent of women who are stalked by an intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner, and 76 percent of women who are killed by an intimate partner were stalked by that partner;
74.2 percent of stalking victims report that being stalked interfered with their employment, 26 percent of stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization, and seven percent of stalking victims never return to work;
stalking victims are forced to take drastic measures to protect themselves, such as relocating, changing their addresses, changing their identities, changing jobs, and obtaining protection orders; and
rapid advancements in technology have made cybersurveillance the new frontier in stalking. The resolution expresses the sense of the Senate that “policymakers, criminal justice officials, victim service and human service agencies, nonprofit organizations, and others should recognize the need to increase awareness of stalking and the availability of services for stalking victims” and that national and community organizations, businesses, and the media should promote awareness of stalking through the observance of “National Stalking Awareness Month.”
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