01/26/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/26/2023 17:01
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced the Senate passage of their bipartisan, bicameral resolution designating January as National Stalking Awareness Month. The resolution raises awareness of the dangers of stalking and highlights the need for law enforcement to prevent this predatory behavior. Approximately 1 in 3 women in the U.S. have experienced stalking at some point in their lives. Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced a companion resolution in the House of Representatives.
"As a former prosecutor, I have seen firsthand the serious emotional and physical toll stalking can take on victims," said Klobuchar. "This resolution will raise awareness about the dangers of stalking, underscore the need to protect victims, and highlight the resources available to help survivors get their lives back on track."
"Millions of our fellow Americans have experienced stalking, which can lead to physical and psychological trauma. Often, these individuals are forced to significantly alter their daily lives to preserve their own safety, but sadly that's not always enough. This month is a time for us all to reflect on the pervasiveness of stalking and the serious hardships and dangers faced by victims. The work of advocates raising awareness, of law enforcement and courts taking preventive and punitive action and of service workers in providing help to victims are all worthy of our thanks," said Grassley.
"The increasing use of internet and social media in society has elevated instances of cyberstalking where minors are the ultimate target," said Fitzpatrick. "I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan, bicameral resolution designating National Stalking Awareness Month which demonstrates our commitment to fighting for victims of stalking and protecting our communities."
"Stalking is a serious crime that imparts unimaginable physical and psychological distress on its victims. No one should have to fear for their safety or for the safety of their loved ones, but it's estimated over 13 million people are stalked in the United States every year. On top of this, we know stalking is a disturbingly strong risk factor for intimate partner homicide. I'm joining Senators Klobuchar and Grassley and Congressman Fitzpatrick to designate January National Stalking Awareness Month to raise awareness about the grim dangers of stalking, reaffirm our commitment to survivors, and continue working to identify new ways to keep communities safe," said Dingell.
This resolution is cosponsored by the three other woman senators on the Judiciary Committee-Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)-along with Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mike Crapo (R-ID).
As the former Hennepin County Attorney and a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Klobuchar is a national leader in the fight to prevent domestic violence.
Provisions from Klobuchar and Dingell's legislation to close the "boyfriend loophole" and prevent abusive dating partners from buying or owning firearms were signed into law last year as part of the landmark Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
Last year, Klobuchar's bipartisan legislation to establish trauma-informed training programs for law enforcement was signed into law. The Abby Honold Act, which Klobuchar led with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN), was inspired by Abby Honold, a former student of the University of Minnesota and rape survivor, who has worked to promote the use of trauma-informed techniques by law enforcement when responding to sexual assault crimes.
Full text of the resolution is available HERE and below:
Whereas approximately 1 in 3 women in the United States, at some point during her lifetime, has experienced stalking victimization, causing her to feel very fearful or believe that she or someone close to her would be harmed or killed;
Whereas it is estimated that, each year, 13,400,000 individuals in the United States report that they have been victims of stalking;
Whereas more than 85 percent of victims of stalking report that they have been stalked by someone they know;
Whereas nearly 70 percent of intimate partner stalking victims are threatened with physical harm by stalkers;
Whereas stalking is a risk factor for intimate partner homicide;
Whereas 3 in 4 female victims of intimate partner homicides were stalked during the year preceding the homicide by their killers;
Whereas 11 percent of victims of stalking report having been stalked for 5 or more years;
Whereas 2⁄3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once a week;
Whereas many victims of stalking are forced to take drastic measures to protect themselves, including relocating, changing jobs, or obtaining protection orders;
Whereas the prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among victims of stalking than the general population;
Whereas many victims of stalking do not report stalking to the police or contact a victim service provider, shelter, or hotline;
Whereas stalking is a crime under Federal law, the laws of all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the territories of the United States, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice;
Whereas stalking affects victims of every race, age, culture, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability, and economic status;
Whereas national organizations, local victim service organizations, campuses, prosecutor's offices, and police departments stand ready to assist victims of stalking and are working diligently to develop effective and innovative responses to stalking, including online stalking;
Whereas there is a need to improve the response of the criminal justice system to stalking through more aggressive investigation and prosecution;
Whereas there is a need for an increase in the availability of victim services across the United States, and those services must include programs tailored to meet the needs of victims of stalking;
Whereas individuals between 18 and 24 years old experience the highest rates of stalking victimization, and a majority of stalking victims report their victimization first occurred before the age of 25;
Whereas up to 75 percent of women in college who experience behavior relating to stalking also experience other forms of victimization, including sexual or physical victimization;
Whereas college students with disabilities are twice as likely as college students without disabilities to experience stalking;
Whereas there is a need for an effective response to stalking on each campus;
Whereas almost twice as many victims of stalking are stalked using technology, such as phone calls, text messages, social media platforms, internet posts, emails, and electronic tracking, as victims of stalking who are stalked without the use of technology; and
Whereas the Senate finds that ''National Stalking Awareness Month'' provides an opportunity to educate the people of the United States about stalking:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate-