LEXINGTON, Ky. — January marks the 17th year of Stalking Awareness Month in Lexington. The Fayette County Sheriff's Department has many resources for victims of stalking as well as tips to keep yourself safe.
Carolynn Lee, Director of Amanda’s Center, helps victims who may be in domestic violence situations. She said talking about stalking and bringing awareness in the community is extremely important because these cases are happening all around.
“Just because they're not talking about cases on the news every evening does not mean that it's not happening every single day in counting, which it is. We have a very high frequency of individuals who present to the courthouse seeking protection based solely off of stalking,” Lee said.
Amanda’s Center opened up in October of 2012, and is located within the Fayette County Sheriff's Department. The Center provides resources for those dealing with domestic trauma or seeking protection.
“Amanda’s Center was created in honor of Amanda Ross, who lost her life to domestic violence, but a portion of what she was dealing with prior to being a homicide victim, was stalking,” Lee said.
Lee says stalking is any situation with unwanted contact that continues and elevated to the point that it is causing fear within a person.
“When people begin to even question their own sanity. It can be very confusing to determine if this is real. Am I really imagining that this person is driving by my home every day, or is this in my head. We encourage people to rely on their gut instincts and trust that if you feel uncomfortable and you feel like this person is appearing at very unexpected and inappropriate times when they should not know where you are, pay attention to that,” Lee said.
Lee recommends that anyone that may be in a situation where they believe they are being stalked should reach out to their local law enforcement and seek protection.
“One of the most important parts about stalking is documenting everything. Many times, people have a tendency to begin to question their sanity. The first thing is to recognize that you're not imagining these things and begin to document them, journal them, log that information in a way that you can come back with times and dates and say that clearly there is a pattern to this behavior, and if it is eliciting fear you have the right to seek protection,” Lee said.