Stalking Under the Lens in Texas

In 2010 the CDC completed a survey that included information on stalking in the United States. It found that in Texas, nearly one and a half million females will will be victims of stalking within their lifetimes. Although the State of Texas has recently enacted laws aimed at protecting victims of stalking, a report drafted by the CVI (Crime Victims’ Institute) found that the availability of information about stalking and the procedures and policies designed to help the police and court systems combat the crime is sorely lacking.

The CDC estimates that 15.6% of females in Texas are likely to experience the crime, just under the average for the entire country, 16.2%. Little to nothing is known about the crime in relation to male victims, although nationally, the average rate of male victims is 5.2%.

The CVI report is suggesting that more information and tracking of the crime is required to make sure that policies and laws in the State of Texas are adequately dealing with the issue.

Stalking in Texas is a felony, of either third or second degree based on the count of offenses. Laws enacted in 2011 permit a victim to file for orders protecting them from the perpetrator. In 2012, Texas became one of twelve states to permit stalking cases to be pursued in civil courts so that financial restitution can be sought.

Research has indicated that many psychologically detrimental effects can result from stalking, including suicidal ideations, increased levels of anxiety, PTSD and nightmares and flashbacks.