Message from Director Diane M. Stuart
January is Stalking Awareness Month. According to the most recent statistics, more than one million people across the country are stalked each year. Though stalking is a crime in every state, it is often misunderstood, because of its unique nature and varying degrees of intensity. It is critically important that the criminal justice and advocacy communities are well-trained in the dynamics of stalking so they can provide effective safety and support to victims, as well as enforce the existing stalking laws. The Department of Justice is committed to keeping stalking victims safe and holding stalkers accountable for their deplorable actions---not just in January, but in every month of the year.
OVW Has Made a Difference
The Stalking Resource Center
OVW funds the Stalking Resource Center, a component of the National Center for Victims of Crime. Launched in July 2000, the dual mission of the Center is to raise national awareness of stalking and to encourage the development and implementation of multidisciplinary responses to stalking in local communities across the country. The Stalking Resource Center serves V iolence Against Women Act grantees; criminal and civil justice system practitioners; community based agencies; media representatives; stalking victims; and the general public.
Stalking Resource Center staff are available to participate in training events sponsored by practitioners on the local, state, and national level. Topics include:
The information clearinghouse provides a wide range of useful information for practitioners. Materials include:
To support interest in local stalking responses and to foster effective multidisciplinary work, the Stalking Resource Center has assembled a network of local practitioners representing diverse communities throughout the country. These local "points-of-contact" help to identify emerging issues and promising practices in the field.
A continually growing resource for practitioners and victims, the Stalking Resource Center website provides diverse resources, including fact sheets on federal statutes, an annotated stalking bibliography, summaries of state stalking laws, a guide to online resources, statistical overviews, practitioner profiles, and more.
The Supplemental Victimization Survey (SVS)
In 2004, OVW entered into an agreement with the Bureau of Justice Statistics to develop a survey on stalking to be administered as a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The NCVS is administered by the Census Bureau to approximately 80,000 households and over 100,000 individuals aged 12 and over. The NCVS records crimes both reported and not reported to the police.
Census Bureau field representatives, also known as the interviewers, will begin data collection for the stalking survey (its formal title is the Supplemental Victimization Survey) in January, 2006 and will continue through June, 2006. The survey seeks to uncover information about stalking that pertains to:
The survey findings will provide much-needed insight into the crime
of stalking. It is hoped that the findings will help inform training
for law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges who are often faced
with stalking cases. The findings will also assist in training
of victim advocates on the types of safety measures and counseling
services that will be most effective for stalking victims. The
first reports resulting from the survey should be released in