By Kayla Woody, House of Hope DVPI Prevention Specialist
Citizen Potawatomi Nation House of Hope was able to host the Know More Do More: Identifying & Responding to Stalking event this past May for local service providers from around the state. The organization was excited to partner up with the National Stalking Prevention Awareness and Resource Center, or SPARC, to bring information to local law enforcement, family and victim advocates, mental health professionals, medical staff, and social service professionals. The training was offered free of charge and provided CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) hours to participants.
Jennifer Landhuis, the director for SPARC, presented at the event. She provided information on the dynamics of stalking, how these behaviors impact victims, how technology plays a part in stalking, how victims can safety plan and identify risk factors, and how professionals can work with victims to keep them safe while also holding offenders accountable.
Stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress, according to SPARC. These types of behaviors are categorized into four different areas: surveillance, life invasion, interference and intimidation. Landhuis stated, “90 percent of victims will not say that they are being stalked but most likely will say something like, ‘He/she is creeping me out,’ or ‘He/she is following me.’” This means that we not only need to educate law enforcement and other professionals on these behaviors but also the community so that this can be prevented.
For more information on stalking please visit SPARC’s website at stalkingawareness.org.
The House of Hope provides services like safety planning, assistance with protective orders, emergency shelter, a 24/7 crisis line, address confidentiality program and even support in court proceedings to any individual who may be experiencing stalking.
If you or someone you know is experiencing stalking, intimate partner violence, and/or sexual assault and would like more information, please contact the House of Hope at 405-275-3176. Visit us online at facebook.com/cpnhouseofhope and cpnhouseofhope.com.