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January is National Stalking Awareness Month, bringing attention to the  impact of violence on American Indian and Alaska Native women, which remains a serious health problem. 

Nearly one in two (or approximately 48.8 percent) of American Indian and Alaska Native women experienced stalking in their lifetime, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS). 

Stalking is a form of power and control and is a threat to public health problems experienced by both men and women. Stalking involves a perpetrator’s use of a pattern of harassing or threatening tactics that are both unwanted and cause fear or safety concerns in a victim, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Every victimization is unique, but some stalking victims have reported feelings of fear, being threatened, and concern for the overall safety of themselves, family, pets, or friends, and feeling vulnerable, confused and frustrated by the perpetrator.

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The CDC states that stalking tactics include: 

  • unwanted following or watching of the victim
  • unwanted approaching or showing up in places, such as the victim’s home, place of employment, or school
  • unwanted text messages, calls, or posts to social media
  • unwanted use of technology to track or monitor the victim
  • leaving strange or potentially threatening items for the victim to find
  • unwanted cards, letters, flowers, gifts damaging personal property harassment, which includes harassing the victim, their family, or friends, and
  • hacking into online accounts and changing settings, passwords, or personal information, etc.

These experiences and effects of stalking can disrupt lives and contribute to adverse health conditions, according to the NISVS. Approaches on intimate partner violence and peer victimization and on promoting healthy relationships among youth may be most helpful in preventing stalking and its negative impacts. 

If you are a stalking victim in need of help, contact your local domestic violence, rape crisis, Family Justice Center, or crime victim service providers. You can also visit the Strong Hearts Native Helpline or the Stalking, Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center (SPARC). 

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The Native News Health Desk is made possible by a generous grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation as well as sponsorship support from the American Dental Association. This grant funding and sponsorship support have no effect on editorial consideration in Native News Online. 
About The Author
Kaili Berg
Author: Kaili BergEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Staff Reporter
Kaili Berg (Aleut) is a member of the Alutiiq/Sugpiaq Nation, and a shareholder of Koniag, Inc. She is a staff reporter for Native News Online and Tribal Business News. Berg, who is based in Wisconsin, previously reported for the Ho-Chunk Nation newspaper, Hocak Worak. She went to school originally for nursing, but changed her major after finding her passion in communications at Western Technical College in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.