Stalking, a growing crime
This is the first in a three-part series about violence, its victims and their cry for help. Information is from the 24th Annual Crime Victim’s Conference held recently at New Hope Crisis Center in Brigham City.
“It’s going to take a bullet put in my head before people understand how serious this is.” Statement made by a victim of a stalker just one month before she was killed by him.
Lyndel Williams, training director for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, said this scenario is all too common because of the lack of attention given to this crime. “Victims (of stalking) may grow silent if we don’t give them some attention,” he said.
Williams was speaking to the more than 80 law enforcement, Department of Child and Family Services, victim services and clergy representatives at the two-day Crime Victim’s Conference at New Hope Crisis Center.
Stalking is more prevalent than people realize, Williams said. One in 12 women and one in 45 men are victims of the crime, with 81 percent of those being physically assaulted, usually by someone they were once intimate with. In truth, about 94 percent of stalkers are known by their female victims. Even with that huge number, about 83 percent of stalking incidents are never reported to police, although 93 percent of victims usually confide in someone about their fears.
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