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Look Who's Stalking

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May Chung

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of Look Who's Stalking

Look Who's Stalking Presented by The Movement What is stalking? A course of conduct directed at a person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
Behavior can range anywhere from repeated unwanted phone calls and cyber stalking, to unwanted visits and being followed or watched 3 Things to Remember
about Stalking: It is real. 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime. It is serious. 81% of women stalked by an intimate partner are physically assaulted by them. 31% are sexually assaulted. 73% of intimate partner stalkers verbally threaten their victims with physical violence, almost 46% of survivors experienced one or more violent incidents by the stalker. The average time a person is stalked is 1.8 years. If the stalker is a present or former intimate partner, it lasts up to 2.2 years (on average.)
13% of college women were stalked during a 6 to 9 month period. It is a crime. Stalking is a crime in all 50 states & Washington D.C. 15 states classify stalking as a felony in the 1st offense and 34 states classify it as a felony upon the 2nd offense or when teh crime involves aggravatring factors, like possession of a deadly weapon, violation of a srestraining order, or if the survivor is under 16. 30% of female survivors and 20% of male survivors sought psychological counseling as a result of being stalked. 20% lost time from work and 7% never returned to work. 56% of women took some self-protective measure, and 11% had to relocate. 76% of intimate partner femicide victims had been stalked by their intimate partner. 89% of femicide victims who had been physically abused reported stalking at least 12 months before being murdered. Humor and Stalking Despite the gravity of stalking print and internet media have continued to make fun of it over the years. The Charlotte News&Observer says:
Its message was a slap in the face to the woman who called me Thursday after seeing it in her local Wal-Mart.

"Some say it's stalking, I call it love."

For the past two years, this woman has been stalked until she feels like a prisoner in her own life. She has been spied upon, bullied and threatened with her life..."It's reprehensible," said the woman, whose story is well documented but who asked not to be identified for fear that her stalker might retaliate.

"People don't realize how serious stalking is," she said. "You constantly live in fear, look over your shoulder and suffer from psychological and physical symptoms due to the stress of the stalker."

She wondered aloud: What's next? "Some say it's rape, I call it hot sex"? Or: "Some call it domestic violence, I say I'm just teaching her a lesson"?

The N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence has already sent a letter asking Wal-Mart to remove the t-shirts from stores. Through humor we have desensitized what the word "stalking" means. Stalking in the Movies While many movies like "Fatal Attraction", "Fear" and "Misery" show stalking as a serious crime, other movies romanticize stalking behaviors. Standing outside her window holding up a boombox playing "In Your Eyes"? Puleeze.

Considering that by that point, they had made love in the back of her car, and she'd never dated before at all and was ultra-confused with everything happening in her life at that point, that was less 'stalker', more 'I'm showing you how much I love you, so why did you dump me?' Bit of a different, possibly strange way to show it, but he was at least bothering to make the effort. Trinity in The Matrix likes to watch Neo as he sleeps. True love or creepy? Messily averted in Inglourious Basterds, in which Zoller comes across as a dogged nice guy in his pursuit of Shoshanna. No matter how many times she tells him no, he keeps coming back for more... Until he gets violent and she shoots him. And then he shoots her. Ain't romance beautiful? The 2004 film Closer:

Anna: Because you stalk me outside my studio.
Dan: I don't stalk, I lurk, and when I'm not there you look for me.
Anna: How would you know I look for you if you're not there?
Dan: Because I am there, lurking from a distance. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World:

Scott falls in love with roller-skating, punk-haired Ramona Flowers at first sight, across a public space. He stalks her in a way that’s meant to be adorable, I suppose...
To be fair, it's lampshaded right off the bat ("AND THEN... HE STALKED HER...") and played for laughs. She agrees to go out with him the next time they speak, and is never really aware of his previous stalking, but neither does she seem to like him any more than "meh, he's a nice guy." In Phantom of the Opera, Erik's kidnappings, death threats, jealous attacks, actual murders and entire verses about owning Christine as the romantic murmurs of a vulnerable genius trying to find true love. Christine thought so too, but like a smart girl she wised up when heads started rolling.
It doesn't help that most people know the story via the musical which framed Erik in a FAR more sympathetic light and kind of glossed over the majority of the really nasty stuff he did. It also changed the ending to make him less repellent. And he's always played by really handsome men too. What's up with that? In Twilight, Edward Cullen starts out by flat-out stalking Bella and watching her as she sleeps. Does she mind? No. Even as he tells her how dangerous he is, she still finds him attractive. He eventually takes Bella away from her human friends (that she never really liked in the first place) and her old life (that she hated) and she goes along willingly the whole way. Stalking in Music Often times, romantic songs portray stalking as being romantic. "Every Breath You Take"
The Police "Oh can't you see, you belong to me
How my poor heart aches with every breath you take.
Every move you make, every step you take
I'll be watching you." The artists think the song is clearly about a creepy stalker, but most people assume it to be a beautiful, sweet, romantic love song. Often played at weddings! "Invisible"
Clay Aiken "If I was invisible, I could just watch you in your room". "Follow You Home"

"You can slap me in the face and you can scream profanity/ Leave me here to die alone, but I'll still follow you home ..." "Escape"
Enrique Iglesias "You can ride, you can hide but you can't escape my love" "Run for Your Life"
The Beatles "Well, I'd rather see you dead little girl
than to be with another man" "Paparazzi"
Lady Gaga " I'm your biggest fan. I'll follow you until you love me ..." Stalking in Television Implications When stalking is made fun of, it loses its validity as a crime. Using the word to describe anything but the actual act of stalking minimizes the nature of the crime. Romanticizing stalking through movies and popular music and television shows confuses and downplays the serious of the crime. It also makes stalking behavior acceptable by presenting it as agreeable or romantic. What to do Recognize stalking as real, serious, and criminal.
Change the media's perception of stalking. Identify images that make fun of or romanticize stalking and point them out to others.
Be an active bystander!
If you or someone you know is being stalked, get help. Contact your local authorities, campus police, the Women's Center, or the National Center for Victims of Violent Crimes (www.ncvc.org) Thank you! "If you leave, I'm gonna find you" In Two and a Half Men, Harpers' wealthy, looney, attractive former neighbor and Charlie's stalker, Rose, as a reoccuring character. Mike Posner, "Please Don't Go" An mid-90s film starring Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon with the tagline "Together. Forever. Or else" SCARY. In "There's Something About Mary", stalking is portrayed as both romantic and comedic.
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