The feeling of being watched, followed or overheard. Frequent unwanted texts or calls. Physical or sexual abuse or assault.
From Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, national speaker Debbie Riddle will share residency at Wright State University, giving a presentation and showing a documentary on the crime of stalking.
Following her sister’s death, Riddle partnered with the Stalking Resource Center and the National Center for Victims of Crime. Her efforts led to Congress recognizing January as National Stalking Awareness Month.
Riddle’s residency is hosted by Wright State’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, which addresses Title IX and Gender Gender-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention and other services, out of its office in 436 Millett Hall. Gender-based violence can include sex offenses, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, intimate partner violence, sexual misconduct and engaging in sexual acts without consent.
Riddle will begin her residency with a group presentation on stalking, warning signs, statistics and bystander effects. Accompanying the presentation will be a documentary that was featured on the Lifetime cable network, illustrating Riddle’s sister and stalking victim, Peggie Klinke, and the events leading to her murder, followed by a time to ask questions one-on-one.
The presentation will be made in Apollo Room B of the Student Union on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 12:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Riddle’s presentation will be a streamed live at Lake Campus.
A brown-bag lunch presentation for faculty and staff will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, in the Atlantis Room (room 157) of the Student Union.
Lindsay Wight, Title IX investigative and training officer, says she hopes participants will gain a better understanding of stalking.
“I think stalking is a very misunderstood act. I don’t think that everyone realizes that it is criminal. I don’t think people realize the behaviors. Stalking for the most part is a pattern of behavior. Sometimes it takes sitting on the outside looking in to notice how odd or off something is,” Wight said. “I’m hoping to educate the community about stalking.”
Stalking is something that invokes fear based upon frequency and intensity.
Wright said Riddle’s presentation will help educate the Wright State community about stalking. “I think it is something that will better the Wright State community,” she said.
The number of stalking cases at Wright State is not zero, she said.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, adults 18 to 24 years are four times more likely to become victims of stalking than any other age group.
“We live in a world where liking everyone’s pictures is cool and texting all the time is normal. You lose sight of the fact that, no, that is not normal, and it’s teaching students especially in that age group that it is not normal and that it’s not the way it’s supposed to be,” said Wight. “That’s not love, that is something else. Part of her presentation is about that social media aspect.”
Wight said characteristics of stalkers include them having a history of violence, abuse, technologically savvy, substance abuse or having a mental illness.
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, about half of all stalking victims indicated that they were stalked before the age of 25.
“You’re not alone,” Wight said about potential stalking victims. “Tell someone. There are resources.”
Wright State resources include Student Legal Services, Counseling and Wellness, Student Support Services, Title IX Investigative Office (for faculty related issues), Community Standards and Student Conduct (for student related issues) and the Wright State Police.
To view Riddle’s presentation, email Lindsay Wight at firstname.lastname@example.org for a link of the recording.
For more information about Wright State’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and additional resources, visit wright.edu/equity-and-inclusion/title-ix-gender-based-violence/education-and-prevention.
To learn more about stalking and National Stalking Awareness Month visit stalkingawarenessmonth.org.