FOX47 NEWS - Stopping Stalkers

Jeff Angileri
Jan 29, 2009, 9:27 PM

They exist solely to scare and intimidate -- and now stalkers have more tools than ever to hurt people.

UW police detectives are helping empower people to stop the threat.

The scenarios are downright frightening -- stalkers lurking around the corner, watching your every move, following every step. It usually starts small -- with an unwanted e-mail or a hang-up call -- then gets worse.

Then they branch out into multiple contacts where they're following the victim, they're consistently e-mailing and texting all hours of the night, said Detective CarolAnn Glassmaker, UW Police Department.

Glassmaker says technology is to blame, too. Web sites and cell phones make it easy for stalkers to track you in real time.

In the scheme of things, it seems to good to interact, and learn about, and become friends with people, she said. But, unfortunately, we're putting so much information into the computer, it's becoming easy for stalkers and pedophiles.

Former stalking victims say it's best to reach out -- whether it's friends, counselors, or police.

It's not your fault if you're the victim -- it's not about you, said Sarai Lorge of Madison. You shouldn't feel to blame because you're being stalked. It's not your fault.

Right now, statistics are sketchy, but Glassmaker says departments across the state are working to log and better identify stalking cases.

If we get on the forefront we can stop this from happening.

Other police tips: Never make contact with a stalker, keep all evidence like messages and notes, and don't put your private information online. The less information you put out for everyone to see, the safer you are.

Stalking is a felony in Wisconsin. Those convicted face heavy fines or even prison time.

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