Newswise — As the nation remembers stalking victims as part of National Stalking Awareness Month, the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History and OutrageUs are launching The Stalking Project, a series of videos and other resources meant to educate and put a spotlight on one of the nation's most misunderstood areas of partner violence.

The Stalking Project hopes to give voice to the often silent victims of stalking and provide tools to help victims fight a crime. Stalking affects 3.4 million adults in the United States each year. Kentucky is no stranger to this crime, having large numbers of victims annually.

"The recently released National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Study found that Kentucky women had the highest rate of stalking in the nation, with a 25 percent lifetime prevalence," says TK Logan, vice president of OutrageUs and professor in the Department of Behavioral Science, College of Medicine, and the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research at UK. "Nationally, the study estimated that over 19 million women are stalked during their lifetimes. Yet stalking remains largely hidden and ignored."

In hopes of putting the often hidden issue of stalking in the spotlight, OutrageUs and the Nunn Center began capturing video oral histories on the topic and the history of stalking laws in Kentucky in 2009. Working with noted Kentucky filmmaker Walter Brock, The Stalking Project is identifying the crime through personal narratives and mini-documentaries that give voice to women who were stalked by an intimate partner, as well as the professionals who worked with them in their efforts to seek justice and safety. The project is being led by OutrageUs board members Teri Faragher, president, and TK Logan, vice president, and Doug Boyd, director of the Nunn Center.

"It was a natural fit for OutrageUs and the Nunn Center to collaborate on The Stalking Project," Faragher says. "Dr. Logan and I knew survivors of stalking who wanted to tell their stories to help other women who are victimized. Doug Boyd was interested in their stories and had the wherewithal to record them. Fortunately, we were able to partner with one of Kentucky’s foremost filmmakers, Walter Brock, and the project was born."

Victims and family members of victims, like national stalking awareness advocate Debbie Riddle, who have participated in The Stalking Project, hope to help and inspire current victims to report the crime.

"When Peggy died I knew immediately that this could not be the end of her fight," says Riddle, whose sister Peggy Klinke was murdered by a stalker. "As difficult as it was, I reached out to people I had never met before to tell Peggy's story. I knew that by telling Peggy's story that her legacy would live on and that another woman's life would be saved."

In addition to personal stories the mini documentaries provide victims with tools and strategies to address stalking. Videos from The Stalking Project help define what stalking is, the impact stalking can have on victims, and tools for fighting stalking from explanations on state stalking laws and their history to details on how to document incidents of stalking. The project is collaborating with survivors, researchers and practitioners to identify and develop a broad spectrum of educational and training resources, supportive services and research informed practices to help communities effect change and improve their response to stalking.

Materials created through The Stalking Project are accessible at, along with professional services such as consultation and training.

OutrageUs was born out of the desire to channel the concern, frustration and outrage that many victims and helping professionals feel into social action and effective strategies to address one of the most prevalent and lethal violations of basic human rights, partner violence. It was established as a nonprofit organization in 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens to bridge the divide between the experiences of partner violence victims and how others view, understand, and respond to those experiences. OutrageUs utilizes the power of education and media to focus attention and initiate dialogue on areas of personal terrorism that are often ignored.

The UK Libraries’ Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, under the direction of Doug Boyd, is internationally recognized for its outstanding collection of nearly 8,000 oral history interviews. The number of interviews available online continues to grow, providing greater access to the collection. Topics are wide-ranging from Appalachia, politics, veterans’ stories, as well as documenting important Kentucky industries such as the horse, coal and bourbon industries.

National Stalking Awareness Month was launched in 2004 by the Stalking Resource Center, National Center for Victims of Crime, and the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. Every January, communities across the country focus on stalking – holding events, sharing information and building awareness about the crime. National Stalking Awareness Month was motivated by the 2003 death of Peggy Klinke, a stalking victim who was murdered by an ex-boyfriend after repeatedly seeking law enforcement intervention. Following Peggy's death, her sister Debbie Riddle began her work as a nationally recognized stalking awareness activist and speaker.

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