Safe House Crisis Center works to educate the community on stalking

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The Safe House Crisis Center in Pittsburg is working to educate the community on cases of stalking.

According to the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, it is estimated that more than one million women in the nation will be stalked this year. And the Safe House Crisis Center wants to educate the community on behaviors to look out for.

January is Stalking Awareness Month, so the Safe House Crisis Center is hosting a presentation at the Pittsburg Library to explain examples of stalking in the media. The event helps the audience look at shows, films, and books through a more critical lens and how they portray relationships.

“I just hope that they don’t just absorb media without really thinking about how this impacts them and how this impacts their view of relationships and romance,” says Ali Smith with the Safehouse Crisis Center.

The Netflix show ‘You’ is a timely example of how toxic stalking can be. The series exhibits the harmful behavior in a romantic way, so the presentation unpacks the dangers of that.

“Oh, but this person’s such a good guy playing into the classic rom-com tropes. But, really we need to break that down and make sure people see this for again how dangerous it is,” says Stephanie Spitz, Campus Victims Advocate at PSU.

And event organizer Stephanie Spitz says being able to recognize problematic behaviors is the first step. She urges participants to be able to detect these characteristics to build better relationships.

“I think it’s important to bring that knowledge to the surface. Cause not a lot of people can identify that, or if they are, again, they’re being shown how to rationalize that to make it normalized or okay because of what we’ve been conditioned to see before,” says Spitz.

The Safehouse Crisis Center says they want the presentation to also function as a way of outreach for victims of stalking. They suggest, if anyone feels they are being stalked to report it to law enforcement immediately.

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