Those in the battle against domestic abuse are turning the spotlight on stalking this month. Tony Gibart with the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence says stalking is a “key warning sign” of serious crimes to come such as abuse or even homicide.
He mentions a couple of high-profile Wisconsin murders involved stalking: a Wauwatosa police officer shot allegedly by her husband and a gunman that shot up the Brookfield spa where his wife worked. WCADV says in one in five cases, stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten victims.
While Gibart says Wisconsin has a good law against stalking, the group is lobbying to include stalking as a reason to file a restraining order, similar to how harassment is treated in a court filing. While the proposal doesn’t have a sponsor yet, he believes a number of lawmakers are interested in the measure.
January is National Stalking Awareness Month.