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Resolution recognizes Stalking Awareness Month


The Pennsylvania House of Representatives last week unanimously adopted H.R. 642, introduced by state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny.

The resolution recognizes January 2016 as Stalking Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affected 7.5 million victims in one year.

“Stalking by a former intimate partner is a serious problem,” Rep. Readshaw said. “Victims suffer anxiety, social dysfunction and severe depression at a much higher rate than the general population and many lose time from work or have to move as a result of their being victimized.”

Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, the U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia, yet many victims and criminal justice professionals underestimate its seriousness and impact. Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate and prosecute since stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts, or a course of conduct, directed at a specific person that would cause that person fear.

“One in four victims reports that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, GPS devices or hidden cameras, to track the victim’s daily activities. Victims can be stalked at home, at school, at work and even at religious services. Even those who are not physically harmed by their stalkers can face emotional problems, leading to time lost at work, anxiety, depression and insomnia,” Rep. Readshaw said.


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