MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Imagine. Someone following you … watching you … showing up unexpectedly or communicating with you in ways that seem obsessive, or cause concern for your safety. He or she communicates threats, or does things that intimidates. These are examples of stalking.
Col. Alphonso Trimble, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, signed a stalking awareness proclamation in front of Marines, civilians and several community groups at a ceremony Tuesday in front of the Base Chapel Annex. Following the reading of the proclamation, there was a quick break and then a detailed training session inside the Chapel.
The theme for the 2019 observance is ‘know it, name it, stop it.’
A reported 7.5 million people are stalked in one year in the United States. The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know – females account for 61 percent of stalking victims, and males account for 44 percent.
“Stalking falls under the umbrella of domestic violence,” Jacqueline Jenkins, victim advocate, Family Advocacy Program, MCLB Albany, said. “Whatever we can do to try to prevent it from happening (on the installation), then we’re all for it.”
Stalking is a crime under the laws of 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories and the federal government. More than half of states classify stalking as a felony upon second or subsequent offense or when the crime involves aggravating factors, according to the Stalking Resource Center’s website at www.victimsofcrime.org/src.
Victims of stalking are advised to take several actions for their personal safety:
Trust your instincts and call 911 if in immediate danger
Take threats seriously
Contact a crisis hotline, victim services agency, domestic violence or rape crisis program
Develop a safety plan including things like changing your routine, arranging for a place to stay and having a friend or relative go places with you
Decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up at your home, work, school or somewhere else
Don’t communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you
Keep evidence of the stalking – when followed, write down the time, date and place. Photograph anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw.
Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you.
Tell family, friends, roommates and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support. Advise security staff at work or school and ask for help to watch out for your safety.
“I had a client tell me one time, ‘he called me 20 times’ – that’s not calling, that’s stalking,” Jenkins said. “A lot of times in the dating arena when we end a relationship, individuals sometimes don’t want to just end it there.
According to the proclamation read by Trimble, “there is a need for great public awareness about the nature, criminality and potential lethality of stalking.” Research indicates more than 25 million Americans are stalked at some point in their life.
The message from the commanding officer and the training that followed the proclamation reading MCLB Albany was clear: Know it … Name it … Stop it.
The Behavioral Health Branch/Family Advocacy Program has scheduled a second brief on stalking at the Chapel Annex on Jan. 22 from 9 to 10 a.m. A certificate of completion will be provided at the end of training. To reserve a seat, call 229-639-5252 or 639-8896.