January 2015 marks the 12th annual National Stalking Awareness Month. This crime affects many of the women served by domestic and sexual assault programs, in addition to more than 1 million women nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
In Missouri, stalking is defined as purposely, repeatedly and intentionally harassing or following someone. Aggravated stalking adds to that definition a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or serious injury (Section 565.225 RSMo). In 2010 in Missouri, there were 73 stalking arrests and 82 aggravated arrests reported (MO Statistical Analysis Center, 2011).