January Designated National Stalking Awareness Month
New technology may have an unintended consequence: making it easier for stalkers to track their victims.A local organization is doing what it can to make people more aware of the problem.The first month of the year is designated as National Stalking Awareness Month. “It’s an opportunity for folks who don’t normally think about stalking and how it can affect the people around them to think about how they could he,help somebody who might be experiencing stalking.”According to Spruce Run’s Program Coordinator Amanda Cost, for better or worse, technology has changed stalking. “Stalking is very different today then it was, you know, just even three or four years ago. It’s amazing how technology has worked to help make people safer, but at the same time, it’s given stalkers different tools to keep an eye on their victims more often. 24 hours a day, 356 days a year, they can have access to that person.” Cost says it’s an issue that’s an everyday occurrence in our area. “It’s something to take very seriously. Sometimes stalkers do things that are very dangerous and at times lethal. And what makes it so scary is so many people know ho it is. That’s stalking them, which means they have greater access to them. I just want people to be aware of that.”Penobscot County Chief Deputy Troy Morton says that protecting those close to us, should be an ongoing effort. “Unfortunately, we do see cases throughout Penobscot County and it’s usually related to domestic issues. And one of the things we ask people to do is to be vigilant. Make sure that we look out for friends, families, even co-workers might be victims of stalking. The community knows how dangerous this is and we’ve seen tragedy in our state, even in our county, and so we know that it’s important to address these issues and work together as a community to prevent it.”If you’d like more information on stalking, log onto www.stalkingawarenessmonth.org.You can also call the 24-hour Spruce Run hotline at 1-800-863-9909.