Feeling followed? January Reminds us There is Safety in Numbers

By Zack Sterkenberg/ “The Voice” Staff Writer

Is someone following you around?  Does it seem that person is always just around the corner, watching in a creepy fashion?  Well it’s time to make the stalker aware of what is going on because January is National Stalking Awareness Month.

The Women’s Center of Bloomsburg is making an effort to inform the community and the University of prevention methods and possible plans of action if someone is currently under the watchful eye of a stalker.  Stalking is a criminal offense in all 50 states so if you suspect anything, it would be wise to contact the center immediately to ask for advice.

“One in 12 women and one in 45 men will be stalked at some point in their life,” said a press release circulated by the center.  It’s important, gender aside, if you’re being stalked to get help.  The Women’s Center (despite the name) is available to help out men in these situations as well.

Allowing the stalking to continue can end in a variety of discomforting and terrible ways.  It is important to get help as soon as possible.  Not only is the Women’s Center always an option, but contacting the police is another precaution to consider at the first sign of an uncomfortable situation.

“Sevent-six percent of female homicide victims were stalked prior to their death, and around 70 percent of victims know who their stalker is,” explained the press release.

According to a study done by the National Center for Victims of Crime, 13 percent of women reported having been stalked at least once in their first year on campus.  The study surveyed close to 4,500 women across 223 universities.

Although the month is almost over, it is important to be aware that stalking does occur and to understand that help is only a phone call away, or a short walk if the weather isn’t too frigid.  Get active and make people aware of what January is about.  No one should have to live in fear when help is readily available.

or more information about the Women’s Center, Inc. visit the center at 111 North Market St., or contact them at (570) 784-6632 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. between Monday and Friday, or visit their website at www.thewomenscenterinc.org.

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