The pervasiveness of cyber-harassment and cyber=stalking comes through in federal figures cited by the sponsor of a proposed law updating Missouri’s stalking and harassment law.
The state senate has advanced a bill adding stalking and harassment on the internet to the state laws.
Sponsor Scott Rupp of Wentzville says he’s heard a lot of stories about internet stalking and harassment–and federal agencies have the numbers to indicate the stories are not isolated incidents. The National Sexual Assault Hotline estimates one of every twelve women in American is a stalking victim at some time in her life. The National Institute for Justice says one-fourth of college women who are stalking victims have been stalked via the internet.
His proposal, SS/SCS/SB818, increases penalties for repeat offenders or for adults who stalk children. Rupp says it also makes it easier for judges to apply the law to individual cases.
The bill is awaiting final senate approval so it can go to the House.