January is National Stalking Awareness Month

As January comes to a close, Through These Doors reflects on National Stalking Awareness Month and how to carry this month’s efforts forward to support survivors of stalking all year long. Throughout the month of January, TTD has prioritized holding space for internal and external discussions about how we can best support folks experiencing stalking. While we support survivors of any stalking situation, our work tends to revolve around supporting folks experiencing violence within their present or former intimate partner relationships. This month, we reflected on the unique challenges and circumstances survivors face in this manner of stalking.
First, stalking is an extremely common tactic used to exert power and control over a partner. Of all stalking victims who identified their stalker as a current/former intimate partner, about 81% reported physical violence during their relationship. With about 13.5 million people reporting being stalked within a 1-year period, we know this amounts to an alarmingly high rate of survivors of intimate partner violence.

Furthermore, stalking has been identified as one of several behaviors that indicates a higher likelihood of intimate partner homicide. Among female victims of attempted and completed intimate partner homicide by male partners, in the 12 months prior to the attack, 85% of attempted and 76% of completed homicide victims were stalked. Nationally, those who are stalked by an intimate partner are 3x more likely to be killed by them. Here in Maine, the Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel, in their 13th Biennial Report, reiterates these statistics and recommends increased training and awareness around stalking as a significant domestic abuse homicide prevention strategy.
These statistics can be particularly jarring, but also motivate us as advocates to constantly strive toward strengthening our services and response to stalking as well as engage in community conversations around education and prevention. If you’d like to learn more about stalking and intimate partner violence, as well as familiarize yourself with your local domestic violence resource center, we encourage you to reach out for a training and/or for outreach materials for your workplace/community. We also encourage you to check out SPARC (Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center) at https://www.stalkingawareness.org/. Finally, if you or someone you know is experiencing stalking and/or intimate partner violence in Cumberland County, please call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 1-800-537-6066.

Smith, S.G., Basile, K.C., & Kresnow, M. (2022). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2016/2017 Report on Stalking. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease control and Prevention.
J McFarlane, J., Campbell, J.C., Wilt, S., Ulrich, Y., & Xu, X. (1999). Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide. Homicide Studies, 3(4), 300-316.

Spencer, C.M. & Stith, S.M. (2018). Risk Factors for Male Perpetration and Female Victimization of Intimate Partner Homicide: A MetaAnalysis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 21(3): 527-540.

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Innovative & Responsive Organization working to End Domestic Violence in Cumberland County Maine

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Innovative & Responsive Organization working to End Domestic Violence in Cumberland County Maine

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