Who’s Watching You?

January is stalking awareness month. Stalking is a serious crime that anyone can fall victim to.  Late last fall, ESPN reporter Erin Andrews became the victim of an obsessed fan’s terrifying actions. According to a recent article, Michael David Barrett stalked Andrews, including following her to different cities as she traveled for work, obtaining hotel rooms next to hers, and secretly videotaping her in the nude. He pled guilty to one felony count of stalking and admitted to secretly rigging peepholes at hotels in Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin in 2008. Barrett’s sentencing is scheduled for February 22, 2010. 

What happened to Erin Andrews can happen to anybody.  Stalking is a crime, and perpetrators should be punished.  Stalking Awareness month is dedicated to educating people about the serious nature of stalking, how to identify it, and what to do if you feel you or someone you know is being stalked.  This includes having a stalking safety plan and keeping an incident log.  More information is available at the Stalking Awareness Month website and stalking kits are available through the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project. 

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