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“Know it. Name it. Stop it.” Stalking Awareness Month in NV

GRAPHIC: Domestic violence prevention groups across the country are spreading the word about National Stalking Awareness Month.
GRAPHIC: Domestic violence prevention groups across the country are spreading the word about National Stalking Awareness Month.
January 21, 2013

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - January is Stalking Awareness Month in Nevada, where a campaign is under way to "Know it. Name it. Stop it."

State law lists stalking as a crime, but Caroline Fleming, executive director of the Custer Network Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault, says it is not an easy one to identify or prosecute because it's a series of events that instill fear. Manifestations of stalking may include repeated phone calls or texts, vandalism, animal abuse, unwanted gifts or "surprise" visits. She says education is important because stalking is a significant risk factor for future serious injury or death.

"There's just way too much of it going on. A lot of times with domestic-violence victims, their batterers stalk them after they get away."

In most cases, stalking is a misdemeanor in Nevada, but can be charged as a felony if the Internet is involved. The citation for Nevada's Stalking Law is Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §200.575.

Fleming says the crime has become more complicated because of technological advances in computers, spyware, GPS devices and hidden cameras.

"It's becoming so much easier to follow people's movements through lots of different technologies, and you know, they maybe don't even know they're being watched."

The Stalking Resource Center reports that one in six women, and one in 19 men, have been stalking victims at some point in their lives, and warns that stalking is linked to missed work time, anxiety and depression in victims.

Stalking statistics are at StalkingAwarenessMonth.org.
More information is available at http://crime.about.com.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV