Stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that causes a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others. And each year, over 13 million people experience it in various ways - being followed, receiving unwanted communications or gifts, through social media, and more. And when the stalker is a former intimate partner, post-separation abuse can materialize as stalking. Rachel Gibson of the National Center for Victims of Crime leads us through the realities of stalking, its prevalence, how it manifests, how it impacts victims, how technology is weaponized by stalkers, and the steps we can take to counter these unwanted behaviors.
Rachel Gibson is the Director of the Center for Victim Service Professionals at the National Center for Victims of Crime, where she works to further the mission by supporting and overseeing NCVC’s programs for victim service professionals, providing training and technical assistance. She also is the founder of RG Williams Consulting designed to engage and support domestic violence programs and national and international gender-based agencies and non-profits that support staff of color and communities at the margins. Ms. Gibson was formerly a Senior Technology Safety Specialist on the Safety Net Team at the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she worked to increase the safety and privacy of survivors and victims of crime. There, she developed training and technical assistance and provided expert thought leadership to build the capacity of victim service providers, private industries, lawmakers, and communities at large to provide advocacy and support to survivors in this digital society. Prior to NNEDV, Ms. Gibson also worked at the National Resource Center on Reaching Victims through the Vera Institute of Justice, and at the former Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence as the Technology Safety Program Specialist.