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STALKING: The Unknown Economic Costs Victims Pay – Institute for Women’s Policy Research

As we turn our calendars to a new year, at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), we renew our efforts to advance solutions that put an end to violence against women.

This January marks the 15th observance of National Stalking Awareness Month. Stalking is a serious crime that affects nearly one in six women and more than one in 19 men in the United States in their lifetime. Through surveillance and monitoring of bank accounts, property invasion or damage, unwanted phone calls, and other unwanted contact at home or at work, stalkers – often former intimate partners – can cause survivors to lose their jobs due to interference and sabotage or have their financial resources depleted due to identity theft or efforts to secure their safety.

January is also recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While hidden, research suggests that human and sex trafficking in particular is widespread and increasing in the United States. Traffickers often target individuals who have previous experiences of psychological trauma, histories of family violence or child sex abuse, drug dependency, homelessness, and social isolation. Individuals with limited economic resources—minors and individuals with limited educational opportunities, work opportunities, or family support—are also at a heightened risk of trafficking. Victims experience the effects of trafficking throughout their lives, due to costs of treating the physical and mental health consequences of victimization, diminished employment opportunity due to a lack of legal work histories, and the arrest and conviction of victims who are forced into illegal sex work, despite laws protecting survivors.

Read some of our latest research by visiting www.iwpr.org or clicking the links below to learn more about the intersection of economic abuse with stalking and sex trafficking:

 

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences.  Click here to donate to Institute for Women’s Policy Research

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