National Stalking Awareness Month
This month the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) observes National Stalking Awareness Month. Stalking is a crime that affects thousands of Californians each year. Research has shown that nationally 18 out of every 1,000 people are victims of stalking.1
In California, the definition of stalking includes willfully, maliciously and repeatedly following or harassing another person and making a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety.
Stalking victims typically need counseling to cope with their victimization. The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves being followed or having one’s property destroyed. 2 Unfortunately the cost of treatment is sometimes a deterring factor for victims and their families.
Established in 1965, CalVCP provides financial assistance to victims of violent crime and those threatened with violence. Funded by criminal restitution and federal grants, CalVCP reimburses victims for crime related services such as mental health treatment, home security and much more.
In addition to the financial assistance through CalVCP, the State of California provides a variety of other resources for victims. The Office of the Attorney General’s website provides advice and safety plans for stalking victims. The Safe at Home Confidential Address program, administered by the Secretary of State, can provide stalking victims with anonymity and a new start.
If you or someone you know has been or is a victim of stalking, I implore you to contact your local law enforcement and your county victim advocate. To locate resources in your county and to apply for financial assistance for crime related expenses, contact CalVCP at 1-800-777-9229 or www.CalVCP.ca.gov.
More information on the national effort to increase stalking awareness can be found on the National Center for Victims of Crime’s Stalking Resource Center website at www.stalkingawarenessmonth.org.
VCGCB Executive Officer
Additional Information and Resources for Stalking Victims:
California Secretary of State
State of California - Office of the Attorney General
National Center for Victims of Crime & Stalking Resource Center