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January 2021: Stalking Awareness Month

WHEREAS, according to the Stalking Prevention Awareness and Resource Center, an estimated 6 to 7.5 million people are stalked in a one-year period in the United States, and the majority of victims are stalked by someone they know; and,


WHEREAS, three in four women killed by an intimate partner have been stalked by that intimate partner; and,


WHEREAS, many stalking victims lose time from work and experience serious psychological distress and lost productivity at  much higher rates than the general population; and,


WHEREAS, many stalking victims are forced to protect themselves by relocating, changing their identities, changing jobs, and obtaining protection orders; and,


WHEREAS, many stalkers use technology—such as cell phones, global positioning systems (GPS), cameras, and spyware— to monitor and track their victims; and,


WHEREAS, according to the Michigan State Police’s Incident Crime Report, more than 16,000 incidents of stalking/intimidation were reported to law enforcement in 2019; and,


WHEREAS, there is a great need for public awareness about the nature, criminality, and potential lethality of stalking, and laws and public policies must be continually adapted to keep pace with new tactics used by stalkers; and,


WHEREAS, communities can better combat stalking by adopting multidisciplinary responses with teams of local agencies and organizations and by providing more and better victim services; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Division of Victim Services are joining forces with victim service providers, criminal justice officials, and concerned citizens throughout Michigan to bring attention to this critical issue;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of the state of Michigan, do hereby proclaim January 2021 as Stalking Awareness Month in Michigan.