Recently while watching television with my wife a commercial came on previewing a new show. It was part of the CBS lineup for the fall season called “Stalker”. It seems well produced with attractive stars centering on officers dealing with victims of stalking. I am not a person prone to being “queasy” but I definitely had a bad feeling in my gut regarding this show.
The Stalking Resource Center reports that approximately 6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States. 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
Given the “copy cat” syndrome I wonder how many more will this show produce and will they be using the show as a tutorial to hone their skills and avoid detection. I am not questioning the network’s right to put on this particular show but I am concerned about the possible consequences.
What is stalking?
While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.”
Help for Victims
In 2000, the National Center for Victims of Crime partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women to create the Stalking Resource Center (SRC). The SRC is committed to continuing its national effort to promote awareness, action, and advocacy to enhance victim safety and hold stalking offenders accountable. The mission of the Stalking Resource Center is to enhance the ability of professionals, organizations, and systems to effectively respond to stalking. The Stalking Resource Center envisions a future in which the criminal justice system and its many allied community partners will have the best tools to effectively collaborate and respond to stalking, improve victim safety and well-being, and hold offenders accountable.