All Americans deserve to live their daily lives free of fear of physical violence. Unfortunately, perpetrators of stalking rob too many Americans of this right, depriving them of privacy and freedom in ordinary activities like spending time at home and communicating with loved ones.
Stalking is a serious crime that affects the lives of more than 7 million Americans every year. Nearly half of those victimized by stalking report enduring unwanted contact at least once per week, and more than one in ten victims have been stalked by the same person for five years or more. Most victims are stalked by someone they know, and many are stalked by an intimate partner—sometimes as part of a terrible cycle of domestic violence.
In recent decades, perpetrators have developed new methods to stalk their victims by misusing technology. Social media and cell phones have given stalkers new ways to monitor and manipulate their victims’ lives, hacking confidential information, and abusing technologies that track whereabouts.
My Administration has taken and continues to take a strong stand against crime in the United States. The Department of Justice’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety has urged our Nation’s judicial and public officials to prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, those who threaten the lives and safety of our fellow Americans. We will continue to provide research, training, and assistance to help our law enforcement and criminal justice professionals deter and combat stalking.
During Stalking Awareness Month, we reaffirm our commitment to learning more about stalking, supporting the victims of this serious crime, and holding perpetrators accountable. Together, we will reduce stalking and the harmful effects it has on our families, friends, coworkers, and loved ones.