Emporia, Kan. – SOS, Inc. recognizes Stalking Awareness Month this January 2022. This month we are dedicated to increasing awareness about stalking.
Stalking is intentionally or recklessly engaging in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person which would cause that person to fear for their safety or a family member’s safety. Stalking is a crime in Kansas.
Locally, SOS is the only accredited nonprofit organization that provides free and confidential services to victims of stalking, as well as domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and human trafficking.
For 2020 through 2021, SOS had 469 helpline calls and provided services to 260 adults and youth who reported stalking to advocates in its service area of Lyon, Chase, Coffey, Morris, Osage, and Greenwood counties.
Most clients reported stalking by current and former partners, but about 100 reports were of strangers stalking the individual. Stalker tactics are unwanted repeated behaviors that make individuals concerned for their wellbeing and safety. A few tactics include but are not limited to: following the person; showing up unexpectedly wherever the person goes; watching the person at their home, school or work; trespassing on their property; unwanted gifts; repeated phone calls, texts, and messaging; and cyberstalking using media or tracking devices on the person’s cell phones or cars.
Often, victims see an escalation in stalkers’ behaviors, which prompts victims’ feelings to rise from annoyance to fear. In its most severe form, stalkers will attack or murder their victims.
For more information on stalking or to discuss options for victims to consider, contact SOS at 620-342-1870 or 800-825-1295 to speak with an SOS advocate if you are needing help. Services for Greenwood County residents are now covered by El Dorado’s Family Life Center of Butler County, 316-321-7104 or 800-870-6967.