WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In recognition of National Stalking Awareness Month, the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) released a briefing paper documenting the economic insecurity faced by victims of stalking, who represent over one in six women and more than one in 19 men in the United States. The paper reviews research on the economic impact of stalking and presents data on economic disparities faced by specific populations including victims of color. Three in 10 stalking victims accrue costs such as attorney fees, addressing property damage, moving expenses, and costs of child care or changing phone numbers. Nearly one in four victims experienced property damage and 12.9 percent of victims incurred costs exceeding $1,000.
Some groups most likely to experience stalking also have relatively few financial resources available to address the issue. Native American women, for example, are especially likely to experience stalking (24.5 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native women) and also saw the largest decline in wages over the last decade (more than three times as much as women's overall (5.8 percent, compared with 1.6 percent).
"Stalking victims often face steep financial hurdles in addressing the issue, as well as challenges at work, compounding the lack of economic resources available to them," said Sarah Gonzalez Bocinski, Director of IWPR's Economic Security for Survivors Project. "Victims face higher rates of workplace harassment, leading to lower productivity and lost wages. Many victims are forced to change their job entirely."
Workplace protections, such as paid sick and safe days, can reduce victims' economic burden but many lack access to these benefits. Less than half (49 percent) of Hispanic women, for example, receive any paid sick days from employers.
Women, who are much more likely to be victims of stalking than men, face persistent earnings inequality, with women of color facing the widest gaps. In 2015, Hispanic women earned 56 cents for every dollar earned by White men and Black women earned 61 cents.
The briefing paper provides recommendations for advocates, service providers, justice system professionals, community leaders, and policymakers to address the economic security of stalking victims.
"Economic security is essential to achieving freedom from stalking and other forms of violence," Gonzalez Bocinski said.
The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences.
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SOURCE Institute for Women's Policy Research