|Updated: 1/09/2013 10:31 am
||Published: 1/02/2013 5:04 pm
Every year there are 6.6 million people stalked in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2010 report on violence prevention shows in Oklahoma 697,000 women said they experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The same report also shows 550,000 men said they experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
It's an issue Domestic Violence Intervention Services sees every day. January is National Stalking Awareness month. A woman who was helped by the organization said being stalked was a terrifying experience.
"He would see me and just point his finger," said a woman.
She didn’t want to be identified so FOX23 is identifying her as Lisa. For months, she lived in paranoia and fear.
"He would call me constantly," said the victim.
The stalker would call her as often as 10 times a day. If she didn’t answer he would follow up with texts.
"He would text me and say, I am watching you. I can see you. I know what you're doing why aren't you answering your phone," The woman told FOX23.
The calls, texts and cyber stalking started when Lisa was raped by a neighbor she thought was a friend.
"You kind of feel like you don't have control over your own life," said Lisa.
She blamed herself for months, until she told her parents what happened and also learned she wasn't his only victim.
The National Center for Victims of Crime says one in six women and one in 19 men experience being stalked in their lifetime.
"That's very disturbing," said DVIS Counselor Missy Iski.
She told FOX23 stalkers harass these men and women to keep them emotionally off balance.
"It gives that idea that you can't get away from me and that no matter what you do I will be in your life," said Iski.
They'll show up at the victim's home or work and set up fake accounts to track them online.
However, you can protect yourself by setting your social media profiles on private, changing your number, or even moving if the stalker lives near you.
Police also suggest mixing up your daily routine to throw off anyone trying to stalk you to keep you out of harm’s way. They also add writing down every time the stalker contacts you will help you to build a case against the person.
Iski says the less contact you have with the stalker, the less control they have over you.
"Let them know you have control over your life," said Lisa.
According to DVIS, there were 522 protective orders filed for stalking victims in Tulsa County in 2011.
If you keep track of stalking details you'll have a better chance of proving the protective order was violated. If the order is violated, it becomes a felony.
You can also reach a DVIS counselor to speak with at (918) 7-HELPME.