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Saturday Event Raises Awareness on Stalkers

January is Stalkers Awareness Month and one local organization is holding a seminar to teach men and women on how to identify and deal with stalkers. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

Touchstone Counseling in Ozark is just one of several local businesses teaching residents what to do if they encounter a stalker and how to file legal documents if they are being stalked.

The seminar on Saturday will start with a free breakfast, and then an Ozark police officer will talk about how to identify a stalker.

Charlie Nolan is a mediator and family crisis consultant for Touchstone.

She says a lot of emphasis is put on how to handle abuse, but not stalkers.

“It just seems like it’s a topic that really isn’t addressed a lot. And so what we wanted to do is put together a seminar for everybody in the community. For them to come and learn a little bit about what to do if they feel like they are being stalked, how the police respond to it, how to file an order of protection and to get some basic safety tips and self-defense techniques that they could use,” Nolan said.

Nolan says about 1.5 million people are stalked in the United States every year.

She says women aren’t the only people invited to Saturday’s seminar.

“If you look at the National Crime Victim survey, you can see some of the statistics. For example, one in twelve women are going to be stalked at some point during their life and one in forty-five men are going to be the victim of a stalker at some point in their life. So, I think it’s pretty relevant if you consider the number of people in this area how many might be affected by a problem like this,” Nolan said.

Nolan says their goal is to educate people about stalking and how to protect themselves.

The Stalkers Awareness Seminar will be Saturday, January 24th from 9am-3pm at the Ozark Presbyterian Church.

That’s located at 1932 State Highway 14 E in Ozark.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.