Resolution recognizes January as National Stalking Awareness Month

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Jan 29, 2019 No Comments ›› maxinegrad

Representative Maxine Grad sits listening in the Vermont House ChamberThe Vermont House and Senate adopted Concurrent House Resolution 8 on January 18th, recognizing January as National Stalking Awareness Month in Vermont. I was so honored to introduce to the House Anna Nassett, a survivor of stalking and victims’ advocate, who has been instrumental to my work. She lives in Warren and was present for the resolution.

The resolution was offered by myself and Representative Ann Pugh of South Burlington, and reads as follows:

Whereas, 13 V.S.A § 1061 defines the crime of stalking as engaging “purposefully in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that the person engaging in the conduct knows or should know would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of another or would cause a reasonable person substantial emotional distress,” and

Whereas, stalking has been criminalized in every state but remains far too prevalent, and

Whereas, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Stalking Resource Center, 7.5 million persons are stalked in one year in the U.S., and

Whereas, stalking is a crime in which victims are both male and female, but women are especially vulnerable, and

Whereas, an estimated 15 percent of women and six percent of men are stalked during their lifetimes, and

Whereas, the stalker of 61 percent of female victims and 44 percent of male victims is a current or former intimate partner, and

Whereas, 32 percent of male victims and 25 percent of female victims are subjected to stalking by an acquaintance, and

Whereas, approximately 50 percent of all victims report that they were stalked before the age of 25, and

Whereas, since stalking was criminalized in Vermont in 1993, perpetrators of this crime have employed more advanced technology, such as a GPS location system, that enables them to track their victims at far greater distances, and

Whereas, stalking may result in victims suffering psychological distress, losing time from work, changing employment, seeking judicial protection orders, or deciding to relocate to another community, and

Whereas, public awareness activities can increase Vermonters’ knowledge of stalking’s lethal potential and encourage public safety officials to devote greater attention to this crime, and

Whereas, January has been designated as National Stalking Awareness Month, and stalking is a problem that deserves Vermonters’ serious attention, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly recognizes January as National Stalking Awareness Month in Vermont, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and to Anna Nasset.