TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – More than 7 million people are stalked each year. That’s according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.
A scary statistic for both women and men.
January is National Stalking Awareness Month. So, what can you do to make sure you’re aware, before you become a victim?
Imagine someone following you, knowing your every move. “I was in my apartment reading a bedtime story to my son and I heard a noise.” A noise that changed Angel Wells’ life.
Angel continued, “So I went to the window and pulled the blinds back. I was face to face with him. He had removed my screen 10 minutes prior, put it on the other end of the building and came back to come into my apartment.”
In that moment, Angel froze. “I couldn’t dial the numbers, I was literally stuck.”
She knew it was time to learn how to protect herself. Angel partnered up with Jeff Lee. Lee, is a former police officer. Now, they both work together for TOCCOA Security and Consulting. They hold group seminars. During the seminars they sharing self-defense skills and teach how to be self-aware. They have helped church groups, sororities, hospitals and companies prepare for any sort of situation.
“Even if we haven’t been able to prevent the first situation, now with an opportunity for some training, some development of some basic skills and development of some awareness, preventing a second occurrence,” said Lee.
Jeff and Angel teach reminders everyone should know. Like, be aware of your surroundings in a parking lot. Make sure to put away the cell phone and keep your eyes open. And try not to be predictable in your everyday activities like going to work.
Lee said, “People are afraid of over reacting, they are afraid of what people are going to think. Oh you’re blowing this out of proportion. Sadly, that’s exactly what the stalker wants.”
Stalking is a crime. Trust your instinct and report it to law enforcement. “It’s much better to get somebody else involved as quickly as possible, instead of trying to handle it yourself,” said Lee.
There are several resources out there to help you. The Vigo County Crime Victim Assistance Program has behavior blogs and protection information on their website. Click here to learn more.
If you’re interested in security and consulting services you can contact Jeff Lee.
Click here to visit the TOCCOA Facebook page.