By Robin Culverwell
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In an effort to put this crime under the microscope, those who help women in abusive relationships are speaking out about stalking during Stalking Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
Stalking is considered an under-reported crime, but those who work to stop it say more than 6.5 million people report being stalked in the US annually.
“And whereas it used to consist perhaps of making a scene at someone’s work or vandalizing their property,” these days technology is allowing new ways of stalking, according to Women Against Abuse attorney Lawrence Szmulowicz.
“I’ve seen stalkers who have installed spyware on a victim’s computer or cell phone, so that they’re able to obtain information about the victim’s lives, their whereabouts, what their plans are, where they’re going,” explains Szmulowicz.
That’s terrifying to victims because the contact is often more constant.
Szmulowicz says for those being stalked and ready to ask for help, the best place to start is Philadelphia’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-723-3014.