Stalking, like sexual assault and domestic violence, is a widely misunderstood crime. Victims/survivors are often confused about what is happening. They may not know how the stalker is finding out information about them, that what they are experiencing is a crime, their options, or where to go for help.
Due to social workers’ unique roles in clients’ lives, we should all be informed about the dynamics of this insidious crime. The average stalking case lasts approximately two years. Victims often report feeling fear of not knowing what will happen next and that the stalking will never end. The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population.
This workshop is especially relevant for professionals working in the field of interpersonal violence (IPV): 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner. Anyone working with children, youth and families should also attend. Approximately 1 in 5 female victims and 1 in 14 male victims experienced stalking between the ages of 11 and 17.
We hope you can join us in April.
Erica Schmittdiel, LLMSW, is the MSU Safe Place/CARE Advocacy Coordinator, a member of the NASW-MI Legislative Social Policy Committee, and the secretary of the NASW-MI Physical and Sexual Violence and Women’s Issues Special Interest Group.
The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report