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Nothing Romantic About it: Stalking Awareness Month in WYO

GRAPHIC: The Custer Network Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault is spreading the word about National Stalking Awareness Month.
GRAPHIC: The Custer Network Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault is spreading the word about National Stalking Awareness Month.
January 25, 2013

CASPER, Wyo. – January is Stalking Awareness Month in Wyoming, where a campaign is under way to "Know it. Name it. Stop it."

State law makes stalking a crime, but Caroline Fleming, who works with the Stalking Resource Center, says it's not an easy one to identify or prosecute because it's a series of events that instill fear.

She cites repeated phone calls or texts, vandalism, animal abuse, unwanted gifts and surprise visits as possible instances of stalking.

Fleming 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,” she says. “And a lot of times with domestic violence victims, their batterers stalk them after they get away."

Flemings’ organization has set up displays in schools, libraries and other public places to spread the word.

She 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,” she says. “And you know, they don't even maybe know that they're being watched."

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






Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY