NATIONAL STALKING AWARENESS MONTH -- (House of Representatives - January 23, 2008)
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Mr. CHABOT. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 852, a resolution which establishes January 2008 as National Stalking Awareness Month. And I thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poe) for his leadership on this issue. I also thank the ranking member, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith) for his leadership, as well as the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott).
Last year, 2007 represented the first national effort to recognize January as National Stalking Awareness Month. I would encourage all of my colleagues to continue their support for this resolution since stalking is much more dangerous than many people believe it is.
Unlike the glamorized stalking scenes depicted in some Hollywood movies, in reality stalking is dangerous and considered a criminal act in all 50 States and in the District of Columbia and by the Federal Government. More than 1.4 million Americans are victims of stalkers in this country every year. Stalking victims are both men and women from all socioeconomic backgrounds, and they are often stalked by intimate partners.
Additional statistics released by the National Center for Victims of Crime are even more disturbing. These statistics reveal that 81 percent of female stalking victims are also physically assaulted. One out of every five stalking cases involves the use of a weapon, and one-third of stalkers are repeat offenders. They have done it before.
These statistics indicate that stalking is not as harmless as some would lead us to believe in the movies or on television shows. We must continue to bring attention to the dangers stalkers pose in our communities and the services and the resources available to respond and address this criminal activity. Passage of H. Res. 852 is an important step in accomplishing this goal.
I thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poe) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith) and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott) for their leadership on this issue. I encourage my colleagues to support this resolution.
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