Thumbs down: Cultivating fear
More than half of stalking victims do not report the crime, which, according to the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault, is defined as "any unwanted contact (including texts and harassment via social media) that communicates a threat or places the victim in fear." The behavior - a crime in all 50 states - is highly correlated with more aggressive forms of abuse, including murder. One study found 76 percent of intimate-partner femicide victims had been stalked by their murder. INCASA's Erik Scheub told the Indiana News Service that stalking can be hard to identify and prosecute because it's a series of events that instill fear. Technological advances further complicate the issue as stalkers increasingly rely on spyware, GPS and hidden cameras. Scheub advised victims to report stalking behaviors to the police and keep track of the incidents in an evidence journal. Resources for victims and advocates are available at www.stalkingawarenessmonth.org.
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