Rising For Justice

I wrote this for the One Billion Rising For Justice Campaign and for the Human Rights vs. Stalkers vision statement:

We envision a world where every person is free to pursue happiness without being restrained by someone who they were once intimate with. In this world, their children have the hope of a future that is free from restraint, threats, manipulation, coercion, and violence in the home. These families will receive the fullest protections to which all citizens are guaranteed by the laws of their country; laws that are fair, impartial, and built upon the foundation of justice for the rights of all human beings, and inclusive of all races and genders.

When a person’s basic human rights are violated, and they are restrained through malicious interference into the daily activities of themselves and their children, we expect a thorough investigation, followed by swift, long-term corrective actions on the part of trained law enforcement, judicial officials, and social work agencies. Our children will no longer be used as pawns to inflict power and control upon us, or to satisfy a minimalist-effort, lowest-cost miscarriage of justice that places them directly in harm’s way with an abuser. Those publicly funded services meant to protect women and children in these situations will be fully utilized and appropriately monitored.

Trustworthy legal advocacy will be provided to each victim without incurring additional debts, and such counsel will involve the victim in every aspect of legal strategies and decisions before they are made. Accountability will be demanded and adequately monitored when an abuser is given conditions that are to be satisfied before contact with children occurs as well as during visitation periods, which shall be conducted in a safe, secure, adequately-monitored setting. Grievance procedures and emergency interventions at every stage of the criminal and legal case will be provided and adequately explained to victims in writing.

In a culture where all people, including women and children, are valued equally, we will see a decrease in family violence and tragic losses of life. Governments have the capacity and the responsibility to guarantee the freedom for all it’s citizens. Women and children deserve no less. In return, countries can expect greater stability and economic growth due to the fact that all are allowed to participate in the privileges of active citizenship.

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January is Stalking Awareness Month

Police departments should be prepared to handle stalking victimization. Sadly, most are not prepared, particularly when technology is involved.

Personally, I don’t get it. This is not a “new” crime at all; just a more effective delivery method. The problem seems to lie with the established thought that private matters are not police matters. There is another school of thought that women are over-reacting to “normal” relationship problems.

However, anyone who has been properly trained should know that stalking goes well-beyond simple jilted lover spats. It involves a pattern of threatening behavior by a previous intimate partner, a peer or a stranger. It involves good record-keeping, investigation and follow-up. When stalking cases are handled properly, lives are saved.

IACP Blog

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Did you know that 6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States? Statistics show that 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime (Michele C. Black et al., “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report,” Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). This January marks the 10th anniversary of National Stalking Awareness Month, a resolution that was set into motion after Peggy Klinke was murdered by her stalker in California in 2003. Law enforcement agencies can use this month to highlight resources available to stalking victims, become more familiar with their state’s stalking laws, and ensure that stalking offenders are being held accountable in their communities.

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