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NM Stalking Numbers Alarmingly High

January 7, 2009

Santa Fe, NM – January is National Stalking Awareness Month, and community leaders in Santa Fe are promoting a town hall meeting on the issue scheduled for next week. The event is meant to raise the public’s consciousness about stalking – a crime that is very common in New Mexico. One of every 12 women in the United States and one in 45 men have been the victims of stalkers.

But, Carol Horwitz, domestic and sexual violence liaison for the city of Santa Fe, says the statistics for New Mexico are alarmingly higher.

"In New Mexico, 25 percent of our women have been stalked at least once in their lifetime."

Stalking often leads to violence, and Horwitz says the best defense is to go public – with friends, colleagues and the police.

"The victims need to document; they need to tell their neighbors what’s going on; they need to tell their employers what’s going on; they need to tell their family members, and then they need to get an order for protection."

Horwitz says stalking victims are sometimes reluctant forthcoming, because they're embarrassed or ashamed by the situation. But, she says victims should remember that the fault is with the stalker.

In New Mexico, only about one-third of stalking victims ever report to law enforcement – and even fewer file for police protection. A town hall meeting on the impact and law enforcement challenges of stalking will be held Tuesday, January 13, at the Rape Crisis & Trauma Treatment Center in Santa Fe - from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Informaton on the meeting can be found at the Santa Fe Coordinated Community Response Council Web site - at
www.santafe-crcc.org. The National Stalking Awareness Month website is
www.stalkingawarenessmonth.org


Bruce Kennedy, Public News Service - NM