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Stalking is defined as the unwanted and repeated contact towards a person, people and/or group. As a form of intimidation and harassment, stalking is simply contact that is not wanted. And when that unwanted contact becomes to be a nuance, that is when it becomes stalking. As a victim of stalking, I have found it very difficult to find information regarding this topic. As I often contemplate why it is hard to find a resource regarding this, my only guess is because a lot of people do not take this seriously. And I personally believe most have never experienced this hence why they refuse to help those they cannot relate with. I'm noticing many cases of true crime within the last decade of very obvious murders being painted as suicides (Morgan Ingram, for instance) and limited care from law enforcement. I can only ask - why?
Alabama is a state with a lot of history and starts the countdown of the 50 nifty United States from the 13 original colonies. And guess what? The great news is, there is help in Alabama for those of you who are victims of stalking. According to several law enforced in 2012, under various codes stalking is very much punishable by law in the state of Alabama.
Under code of Alabama § 13A-6-90. Stalking in the first degree. (2012) This code states that a crime of stalking in the first degree is classified as a class C felony. This means that a person who intentionally harasses and follows with the intent to harm you is guilty. This includes threats, whether expressed or implied. If you feel you are in fear for your life and fear death of the suspected stalker, this is where this code applies.
Under code of Alabama § 13A-6-90.1. Stalking in the second degree. (2012) This code states that a crime of stalking in the second degree is considered a class B misdemeanor. This means that a person who intentionally and/or repeatedly harasses you in efforts to initiate unwanted contact whether via telephone, email, etc. is guilty. This also includes any third-party source who makes contact for the said person. Enforced again in the Summer of 2017 under H.B. 498, after the perpetrator has been informed to cease contact, the end result is guilty in the second degree.
Under code of Alabama § 13A-6-91. Aggravated stalking in the first degree. (2012) This code states that a crime of aggravated stalking in the first degree is classified as a class B felony. Any person who violates the provisions of § 13A-6-90(a) including court orders and restraining orders, will be tried under Alabama law for aggravated stalking.
Under code of Alabama § 13A-6-91.1. Aggravated stalking in the second degree (2012) This code states that a crime of aggravated stalking in the second degree is classified as a class C felony. Any person who violates the provisions of § 13A-6-90 including court orders and restraining orders, will be tried under Alabama law for aggravated stalking.
With action comes evidence. In order to both effectively and efficiently report stalking, it is very crucial to keep a timeline or a log of the events. This is what is often referred to as a course of conduct. Everything shared before the threat, leading up to the threat and to present as the stalking is persisting. And speaking of threats, a credible threat is very vital when reporting stalking. This can be a threat that is expressed and/or even implied. If you feel that the person stalking you is scaring you or making you fear for your life, you have the right to report this. You are constitutionally protected by law to report any crime. If you feel your life is danger, it is very crucial to report it.
Keep in mind that I am referring to only criminal law. At this time, Alabama does not have any laws to protect stalking victims civilly; however, with the right push and shove, we can hopefully change these laws for the victims in the Alabama area. Alabama is also a state that does not offer address protection from stalkers. And because of this unfortunately, Alabama currently does not offer any stalking protection orders; however, stalking is still punishable under criminal stalking laws and federal laws.
Speaking of federal laws, there are quite a few that really play a role in helping stalking victims. According to federal law code 18 USCS § 2261A. Stalking. (2013) any person who plays any reasonable fear of death in another person is considered a stalker and therefore can and will be punished as the law sees fit. With the intent to harass, injure and even intimidate, any person who does this can be punished. And under title 2261(b), this is all punishable by law. You can read more about the stalking federal law here.
If you are a victim of stalking, please check out the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (or ACADV). Located in the heart of Alabama, you can reach them directly by phone at (334) 832-4842. You can also email them at email@example.com.
Other organizations you can contact include:
Alabama Coalition Against Rape (or ACAR). Located in the heart of Montgomery, this organization is always here to help. You can reach them via phone at (334) 264-0123.
2nd Chance, Inc. Located in Anniston, this is a crisis organization that serves six counties in the Alabama area including Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Etowah, Randolph and Talladega. You can reach them directly at (256) 236-7381.
Crisis Center Inc. (Rape Response + SANE). Located in Birmingham, this is a crisis center serving six counties including Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker. You can reach them at (205) 323-7782.
Crisis Center of Russell County. Live in Russell County? If so, you can reach this Alabama organization via phone at (334) 297-4435 today.
Crisis Center of North Alabama. Located in the heart of Huntsville, this organization is serving three counties including Jackson, Limestone and Madison. If you live in these areas, please call them directly at (256) 716-4052.
Family Services of North Alabama. Serving both Delkab and Marshall counties, this Albertville organization is here to serve you. Especially if you are a victim of stalking. You can reach them at (256) 878-9159.
Lifelines Family Counseling Center Inc. of Mobile. If you live in Mobile, Washington or Clarke county, you are going to want to contact this organization immediately. You can reach them directly at (251) 431-5100.
Lighthouse Counseling Center (or STAR). Serving six counties including Montgomery, Elmore, Butler, Lowndes, Crenshaw and Autauga. You can reach their office and crisis line at (334) 286-5980.
Mental Health Association in Morgan County. Serving both Morgan and Lawrence counties, this organization is here for stalking victims 24/7. You can reach them at (256) 353-1160.
Rape Counselors of East Alabama. Serving four counties including Chambers, Tallapoosa, Lee and Macon, this is a great organization that helps victims of sexual assault; however, they will never turn their backs on stalking victims. You can reach them at (334) 741-0707 today.
Safehouse of Shelby County Inc. Serving Shelby, Coosa and Clay county, this organization can be reached directly at (205) 669-1877. You can also reach their crisis line at (205) 669-5339.
Shoals Crisis Center. Located in the heart of Florence, this organization will never turn their backs on a victim of stalking. Serving four counties including Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale and Marion, you can reach their office at (256)765-0025. You can also reach their crisis line at (256) 767-1100.
The House of Ruth, Inc. Serving eight counties total including Barbour, Bullock, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike, you can reach them directly at (337) 793-5214. You can also reach their crisis line at (334) 793-2232.
The Lighthouse of Baldwin County. Serving both Baldwin and Escambia, you can reach their office (251) 947-6196 and crisis line at (251) 947-4393 today.
Turning Point. Serving nine counties total, this is an organization that will never ignore a stalking victim. Serving Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties. You can reach them directly at their office (205) 758-0808 or call their crisis line at (205) 758-0808.
Victim Services of Cullman, Inc. Serving both Culman and Winston counties, you can reach their office at (256) 775-2600 or their crisis line at (256) 734-6100.
Over millions of women are stalked around the world. The time is now to recognize that stalking is a crime and should not be ignored. I will do my best to update this article periodically. If you have any additional information you would like to share, please do so in the comments.
Stay tuned as I explore the largest state in the United States, Alaska. With not even a million residence totally, the Last Frontier is a state worth exploring. Purchased in 1867 from Russia for a little over $7 million (that is about 2-3 cents per acre), Alaska is "North to the Future" but how are their stalking laws?