It affects 7.5 million people in the US yearly
For half the people it happens before their 25th birthday
Most of the time it’s done by someone they know
It causes fear, employment concerns, some people have to move, and others fear it will never end

What is it?

When was the last time you thought about stalking? Maybe you read about a celebrity who is being stalked by a ‘fan’. Stalking is one of those things we don’t think about too much until it happens to someone we care about. The sad reality is stalking is far more common than most people think. It’s also highly correlated with intimate partner violence… and with intimate partner homicide.

Sometimes I’m mindlessly singing along to Sting’s I’ll be Watching You and I catch myself and shudder as I really listen to the words and think about the terror that stalking elicits.

Every breathe you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break
and every step you take
I’ll be watching you

Every single day
And every word you say
Every game you play
And every night you stay
I’ll be watching you

Oh you can’ t see
You belong to me…
I’ll be Watching You is often mistaken as a love song. Wikipedia reports Sting “was disconcerted by how many people think the song is more positive than it is. He insists it is about the obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follow…I think the song is very, very sinister and ugly and people have actually misinterpreted it as being a gentle little love song, when it’s quite the opposite.”

January is National Stalking Awareness Month

It’s important to know about stalking, so you can recognize the early signs and encourage someone you know to get help tight away. Got 5 minutes? Here’s a quick interactive quiz to help you better understand stalking. And here’s a fact sheet for more information about stalking.