WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Representatives Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) announced that their bipartisan, bicameral resolution designating January as National Stalking Awareness Month has passed the Senate. Approximately 1 in 6 women in the U.S. have experienced stalking at some point in their lives.

“As a former prosecutor, I have seen firsthand the serious emotional and physical toll stalking can take on victims,” Klobuchar said. “This resolution will raise awareness about the dangers of stalking, the need to ensure that victims are protected, and the resources available to help survivors get their lives back on track.”

“Millions of our fellow Americans have been victims of stalking. Oftentimes their stories involve years-long episodes, drastic changes to their lives to secure their safety and sadly other criminal activity by stalkers. This month is a time for us all to reflect on the pervasiveness of stalking and the serious hardships and dangers faced by victims. The work of advocates raising awareness, of law enforcement and courts taking preventive and punitive action and of service workers in providing help to victims are all worthy of our thanks,” Grassley said.

“As we all spend more time online, we must do more to crack down on online stalking and other predatory behaviors,” said Murphy. “I’m honored to partner with Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley, as well as my colleague Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick in the House, to introduce this bipartisan resolution designating January as National Stalking Awareness Month and sharing information with partners across Florida and the country about how to keep our communities, and especially our kids, safe."

“During National Stalking Awareness Month, we must redouble our efforts to improve the prevention and response to all forms of stalking, and send a clear message to predators that they will be held accountable for their abhorrent crimes,” said Fitzpatrick. “I am proud to support this bipartisan resolution, which will work to raise awareness regarding the serious dangers of stalking, emphasize the protection of victims, and help survivors recover and heal.”

This resolution is cosponsored by every woman senator on the Judiciary Committee—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)—as well as Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mike Crapo (R-ID). It complements efforts by the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC) to bring attention to Stalking Awareness Month.

Klobuchar is a national leader in the fight to prevent domestic violence. She is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and prior to her time in the Senate, she served as Hennepin County Attorney. 

In March 2021, Klobuchar and Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act. This legislation prevents convicted stalkers from buying or owning a gun—a commonsense update to federal law that many states have already adopted.

In January 2021 Klobuchar introduced the Abby Honold Act with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN). This bill was inspired by Abby Honold, a former student of the University of Minnesota and rape survivor, who has worked to promote the use of trauma-informed techniques by law enforcement when responding to sexual assault crimes. Klobuchar introduced legislation to protect immigrant victims of domestic violence the following month.

Klobuchar has worked to secure support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault during the pandemic. When the pandemic began, Klobuchar, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) led their colleagues in a bipartisan letter expressing concern for the wellbeing of families who face an increased risk of domestic violence during the pandemic and urging the Administration to ensure service providers have the flexibility and resources to help victims of domestic violence. 

In April 2020, Klobuchar, Murkowski, and Casey led a bipartisan group of 38 colleagues requesting that any future legislation to address the pandemic includes support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The senators expressed concern that service providers have reported that abusers are using the pandemic to isolate their victims, withhold financial resources, and refuse medical aid; rape crisis centers have seen an increased need for services; and many local law enforcement agencies have received an increased number of domestic violence-related calls. 

The full text of the resolution can be found HERE and below:

Whereas approximately 1 in 6 women in the United States, at some point during her lifetime, has experienced stalking victimization, causing her to feel very fearful or believe that she or someone close to her would be harmed or killed;

Whereas it is estimated that, each year, between 6,000,000 and 7,500,000 individuals in the United States report that they have been victims of stalking;

Whereas more than 85 percent of victims of stalking report that they have been stalked by someone they know;

Whereas nearly 70 percent of intimate partner stalking victims are threatened with physical harm by stalkers;

Whereas stalking is a risk factor for intimate partner homicide;

Whereas 3 in 4 female victims of intimate partner homicides were stalked during the year preceding the homicide by their killers;

Whereas 11 percent of victims of stalking report having been stalked for more than 5 years;

Whereas two-thirds of stalkers pursue their victims at least once a week;

Whereas many victims of stalking are forced to take drastic measures to protect themselves, including relocating, changing jobs, or obtaining protection orders;

Whereas the prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among victims of stalking than the general population;

Whereas many victims of stalking do not report stalking to the police or contact a victim service provider, shelter, or hotline;

Whereas stalking is a crime under Federal law, the laws of all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the territories of the United States, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice;

Whereas stalking affects victims of every race, age, culture, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability, and economic status;

Whereas national organizations, local victim service organizations, campuses, prosecutor’s offices, and police departments stand ready to assist victims of stalking and are working diligently to develop effective and innovative responses to stalking, including online stalking;

Whereas there is a need to improve the response of the criminal justice system to stalking through more aggressive investigation and prosecution;

Whereas there is a need for an increase in the availability of victim services across the United States, and those services must include programs tailored to meet the needs of victims of stalking;

Whereas individuals between 18 and 24 years old experience the highest rates of stalking victimization, and a majority of stalking victims report their victimization first occurred before the age of 25;

Whereas up to 75 percent of women in college who experience behavior relating to stalking also experience other forms of victimization, including sexual or physical victimization;

Whereas college students with disabilities are twice as likely as college students without disabilities to experience stalking;

Whereas there is a need for an effective response to stalking on each campus;

Whereas more than twice as many victims of stalking are stalked using technology, such as phone calls, text messages, social media platforms, internet posts, emails, electronic tracking, as victims of stalking who are stalked without the use of technology;

Whereas the COVID–19 pandemic has heightened the risk of online stalking and harassment, particularly among school-aged individuals;

Whereas victim service organizations and law enforcement entities have swiftly adapted to the COVID–19 pandemic in order to continue to serve victims of stalking;

Whereas victim service providers report an increase in online stalking and harassment, particularly among school-aged individuals; and

Whereas the Senate finds that “National Stalking Awareness Month” provides an opportunity to educate the people of the United States about stalking: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

  1. designates January 2022 as “National Stalking Awareness Month”;
  2. applauds the efforts of service providers for victims of stalking, police, prosecutors, national and community organizations, campuses, and private sector supporters to promote awareness of stalking;
  3. encourages policymakers, criminal justice officials, victim service and human service agencies, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations to increase awareness of stalking and continue to support the availability of services for victims of stalking; and
  4. urges national and community organizations, businesses in the private sector, and the media to promote awareness of the crime of stalking through “National Stalking Awareness Month”.

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