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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Amicus Brief in Oregon Stalking Case

January 10, 2011

Stalking is a pervasive and dangerous problem in the United States.  It is estimated that nearly 3.4 million people are stalked each year.  Stalking takes a heavy toll on the victim.  In a recent Oregon Court of Appeals case, the court found that even when a victim has obtained a stalking protective order (SPO) prohibiting the stalker from having further contact with the victim, if the stalker nonetheless makes verbal or written contact, the victim must show that the contact posed an “unequivocal threat” that is “objectively likely to be followed by unlawful acts” and that instills in the victim a fear of “imminent and serious personal violence” in order to establish a violation of the SPO.  This incredibly high showing was required even though the victim had already established these factors when she obtained the SPO in the first place.  NCVLI will be participating as amicus curiae, urging the Oregon Supreme Court to accept the case for review, and ultimately to reverse the appellate court’s decision so that victims of stalking can be better protected.