State leaders, domestic violence advocates and police are speaking out about stalking. It's a dangerous crime and more common than you may think.
The goal is to convince lawmakers, police and victims to take stalking seriously. One in 12 women will be stalked in their lifetime in the US.
Today domestic violence advocates met to discuss this issue. Attorney General Drew Edmondson also declared January, Stalking Awareness month. He emphasizes that stalking is a crime. It's against the law to follow, call, harass or repeatedly text message people and put them in fear of their safety. Three quarters of all women who are killed in a domestic violence situation were first stalked by their attacker.
"A person is stalking, they're liable to commit acts of violence, and they're liable to commit murder," Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson said. "This is not only serious, this is deadly serious."
The Attorney General also advised victims to keep a record of the stalker's activities and report every incident to police. He also encourages police to investigate and push for charges in cases involving stalking.
The first stalking offense is a misdemeanor in Oklahoma. The Attorney General says the laws should be tougher.