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STOP TA Clinic 1/23/23: Understanding Stalking and Supporting Survivors with Dana Fleitman (SPARC)

The month of January is Stalking Awareness Month. Stalking, although one of the four crime areas, is often overlooked and underserved. In this STOP TA Clinic, Dana Fleitman from SPARC spoke on the importance of supporting stalking prevention programs. Ms. Fleitman began the discussion by emphasizing three key items: stalking is criminal, traumatic, and dangerous. Ms. Fleitman continued the conversation by discussing statistics on the danger level of stalking. For instance, she shared that 76% of intimate partner femicides include stalking in the year prior. She continued the conversation by discussing the discrepancy between the public’s perception of stalking and what actually occurs. Information was provided to Administrators regarding the definition of stalking and what it can look like in lived experiences. Ms. Fleitman emphasized that the core components of stalking are fear and personal duress. When serving victims, Ms. Fleitman emphasized it is important to have an open mind to the different forms of stalking that can occur and to validate the victim. Before opening the floor to questions from Administrators, Ms. Fleitman offered different resources to assist Administrators and their subgrantees in supporting victims of stalking.

Dana Fleitman has been with the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC) since 2018. In her role as Training and Awareness Specialist, she provides training and technical assistance to multidisciplinary professionals across the country on recognizing and responding to stalking. Dana is a skilled trainer who leads in-person and online workshops on topics including stalking behaviors and dynamics, stalking on campuses, the use of technology to stalk, risk assessment, and safety planning. With a focus on public awareness, Dana also authors original resources – including ready-to-use curricula, discussion guides, and publications on stalking – and leads SPARC’s National Stalking Awareness Month efforts each January, designing and creating SPARC’s social media campaigns as well as infographics and videos year-round.