CBS’ Stalker Brings Much Needed Attention
Have you seen the promos for CBS’ Stalker? Not only does this show take creepy to a new level, it looks terrifying. My initial reaction was that this was a sleazy attempt by CBS to score ratings using the fear factor. At first I dismissed it as a show that I definitely would not be watching this fall.
But the more I heard the numbers in the promos, I wondered if those were real facts or just part of the storyline. I went to the Victims of Crime website to find out. The facts are staggering and made me rethink the potential positive impact of Stalker on our society.
Here are just some of the facts:
- Stalking cases have tripled in the last decade, due to the use of social media;
- 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have reported being stalked;
- 1 in 5 female victims and 1 in 14 male victims were stalked between the ages of 11 and 17; and
- 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims were stalked by a former or current intimate partner.
If you think that stalking is not a serious crime, then think again. Based on the statistics, stalking, physical abuse, and homicide go hand in hand.
- 76% of female homicide victims were previously stalked by an intimate partner
- 67% of female homicide victims were physically abused by an intimate partner
- 89% of female homicide victims who were physically assaulted were stalked in the previous 12 months preceding their murder
- 79% of abused female homicide victims reported being stalked during the same period in which they were abused
- 54% of female homicide victims reported stalking to the police before they were killed by their stalkers
Realizing these numbers made me take a closer look at the upcoming series premiere of Stalker. I wanted to know if CBS was just putting a new twist on the done and re-done murder mystery drama, or were they taking this seriously. Of course, ultimately CBS is in the business to provide entertainment that will get ratings, but they have a real opportunity to use their new suspense thriller to cast a much needed light on a crime that has quickly become an epidemic in this nation.
Stalker focuses on the crime solving team of Lieutenant Beth Davis, played by Maggie Q, and Detective Jack Larson, played by Dylan McDermott. They each have past lives they are trying to escape. It appears that Lt. Davis’ drive to solve these crimes lies in her personal experience. Det. Larson is ego driven. He uses his talents to push Lt. Davis into exposing a rawness in her emotions that reveals more about a stalking victim than could be learned by just knowing a new victim each week for one hour. Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott bring professional realism to these characters in a way that demonstrates their characters’ strengths and weaknesses to reveal the impact of this crime, not only on victims, but to those who solve these crimes as well.
As Lt. Davis and Det. Larson attempt to solve these crimes driven by rejection, jealousy, and revenge, we have an opportunity to learn more about this terrifying crime. We will see that stalkers are not mentally ill psychopaths. A stalker can be anyone. The person sitting next to you at work, the person that just handed you your over-priced coffee, or the person you slept with last night could be a stalker. Stalkers will not just stop one day and often their actions escalate quickly. Most importantly, we will learn that stalking is a serious crime that demands everyone’s attention.
If you know someone who is being stalked, encourage them to report the crime. If you are being stalked, there is help available. Visit the Victims of Crime website to get information on preserving your safety, as well as confidential programs of assistance. Always report every incident to police. Download the Stalking Incident and Behavior Log and keep a record of all incidents.
Tune in to CBS on Wednesday, Oct. 1 for the series premiere of Stalker.