The Natrona County Sheriff's Office has acknowledged that January is National Stalking Awareness Month, and throughout the month they will be offering information on how to recognize and report stalking.

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"The behavioral definition of stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear for the person's safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress," the NCSO wrote in a Facebook post.

The NCSO noted that, unequivocally, stalking is a crime in all 50 states, aswell as the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, and the federal government.

"Stalking is dangerous," the sheriff's office wrote. "It often co-occurs with physical assault and sexual violence, including rape. 20% of stalkers use weapons to threaten or harm victims."
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Recently, multiple television networks and streaming services has more or less glorified the idea of stalking with shows like 'You' and 'The Watcher.' But actual stalking isn't entertaining. It isn't fun. It isn't funny. It's illegal and it's dangerous.

"Most victims of stalking talk to a friend, family member, or someone else they know and trust about the situation before pursuing any sort of professional or legal help," the NCSO wrote. "If a stalking victim talks to you, your response significantly impacts if they feel validated and/or seek help."

It's a lot to put on a person, but your response can mean the difference between them getting help or not getting help. The NCSO wrote that if you feel a loved one is in immediate danger, you should call 9-1-1. Urge them to reach out to a victim service provider who can assist them in finding safety and getting help.

The Natrona County Sheriff's Office Victim Services Unit can be reached by phone at 307-235-9282.

Throughout the month of January, the NCSO will continue to post facts and figures regarding stalking, in an effort to educate and empower those who may be facing this very real, very dangerous crime.

For more information, you can check out the Natrona County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

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