NATIONAL STALKING AWARENESS MONTH

February 3, 2009
Floor Statements

February 3, 2009

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia: Madam Speaker, House Resolution 82 is a bipartisan measure and will help raise awareness of the terrible toll that stalking is taking in our society. Every year, stalking affects millions of Americans of both genders and of all races and ages.

The consequences of stalking can be extremely serious. The fear and mental anguish can leave stalking victims paralyzed. Stalkers cause their victims severe emotional distress, including anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction and depression, which can affect all aspects of life, including family, social activities and work.

In fact, many stalking victims have been forced to relocate their residences and also frequently needed psychological counseling. Approximately 130,000 victims reported being fired or forced to find work elsewhere because they've been stalked.

Stalking also leads to physical attacks on the victim. This explains why most States and the Federal Government treats stalking as a felony. Over 75 percent of women murdered by an intimate partner have been stalked by that partner. Advances in technology have given stalkers ever-increasing access to their victim's personal information, making the victim even more vulnerable.

I'd like to commend my Judiciary Committee colleague, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poe), for his leadership on this issue. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting House Resolution 82.