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UTSA presents stalking awareness workshop

(Jan. 7, 2009)--As part of National Stalking Awareness Month, the UTSA Women's Resource Center will offer a workshop and discussion from 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 21 in the University Center Pecan Room (2.01.26) on the 1604 Campus. Free and open to the UTSA community, the event will promote awareness and public education regarding stalking and its consequences.

This year's theme, "Stalking: Know It, Name It, Stop It," challenges the nation to combat this dangerous crime by learning more about it. Stalking affects more than 1.4 million people each year.

By learning more about stalking, communities can support victims and combat the crime. "If more people can recognize stalking, we have a better chance to hold offenders accountable," said Jessica Muniz, sexual assault prevention coordinator at UTSA Counseling Services. "Knowledge can help communities support victims and prevent tragedies."

The event is co-sponsored by UTSA Counseling Services, Office of Student Judicial Affairs, UTSA Police Department and the Office of Student Activities.

For more information, contact Melissa Hernandez at (210) 458-4140.

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If you need help

  • If you think you are being stalked, contact the UTSA Police Department at (210) 458-4911.
  • If you are suffering the psychological effects of stalking and want to talk to a counselor, contact UTSA Counseling Services at (210) 458-4140.

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What is stalking?

  • Stalking is a crime that occurs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and affects people from all walks of life. One in 12 women and one in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetimes for an average duration of almost two years.
  • Victims may experience psychological trauma, financial hardship and even death. Eighty-one percent of victims stalked by an intimate partner also were assaulted by that partner. Seventy-six percent of female homicide victims were stalked before their deaths.
  • Statistics on college campuses are similar to national numbers. Thirteen percent of college women were stalked during six-to-nine month periods, and 80 percent of campus stalking victims know their stalkers. Three of 10 college women reported being injured emotionally or psychologically as a result of stalking.
  • Many victims underestimate the seriousness and impact of the crime. At first, they may view stalking as "creepy" but not dangerous. They may think that ignoring or confronting stalkers will stop them. But, stalkers almost never stop, and confronting a stalker may escalate the violence.
  • Even when victims see the danger and report the crime, stalking may be hard for authorities to recognize, investigate and prosecute. Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts and a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause that person fear.
  • Stalking may take many forms -- such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary or animal abuse -- as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts or visits. Stalkers may use a range of devices such as computers, Global Position System devices or hidden cameras to track their victims' daily activities.
  • Stalkers fit no standard psychological profile, and many have been known to follow their victims from one jurisdiction to another, making apprehension by the authorities even more difficult.

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