Experts outline signs and resources for victims of stalking

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 6:23 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - An estimated 13.5 million people are stalking in one year in the United States according to the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center.

Kris Barney, a domestic violence survivor, who now serves as an advocate for the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team (D.A.R.T.) in Ruston, says stalking often plays a role in domestically violent situations as a form of intimidation.

“There was always someone watching me and he got great joy in calling me up and saying I know exactly where you were last night, I know exactly what you were wearing, I know what you’re eating, I know what time you. Left, and i know what time you got home.,” Barney says.

She says some forms of stalking are easily recognized.

“Showing up at places where the victim is, whether it be their classroom, their class on campus, place of employment, of course following in in a vehicle and in causing intimidation,” Barney says. “Sending unwanted text, photos, emails and messages through social media and sending unwanted gifts and letters.”

Barney emphasizes with social media, it’s important to protect your information. She says more than two times as many victims are stalked with technology than without.

“Now it is, it’s so much easier for abusers to sit behind their computer screen or their phones and stalk and harass and the constant texting,” Barney says.

She reiterates how social media is often used by abusers.

“Facebook is the number one platform for abusers to stalk and harass their victims,” Barney says.

But she says the best thing to do as a victim of stalking is to document everything, take it to law enforcement, and file a restraining order.

“At least you have a paper trail, at least you’re showing the judge that you’re trying to protect yourself and your children,” Barney says.

She says resources like the Wellspring and D.A.R.T. in Ruston, offer legal help with getting restraining orders, as well as counseling and shelter. She encourages anyone who thinks they may be a victim of stalking to call D.A.R.T., the Wellspring, or law enforcement to get help.

D.A.R.T. Ruston: (318) 251-2255

The Wellspring: (318) 651-9314

Click here for more facts on stalking.