The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The reality of stalking

The Daily Iowan
FILE- In this file photo the screen at FilmScene will be supplemented with an additional screen due to delays of the Chauncey Tower development. FilmScene has plans to add a 40 seat theater where the current gallery resides. FilmScene is located at 118 E College St in Iowa City, Iowa. (File Photo/The Daily Iowan)

In reality, stalkers target people of different races, ages, and economic backgrounds. Unlike in many popular films, Lewis said, often targeted-individuals are not in relationships with the stalkers.

“The films they’re going to show and talk about definitely romanticize stalking,” said RVAP Assistant Director Karen Siler. “[The movies say] that it’s flattering and ‘Oh, isn’t it so romantic, he loves her so much he checks wherever she goes. He lets her know that it’s not OK that she talked to someone else. He loves her so much or She can’t stand the thought of him with someone else.’ ”

A prominent example Siler gave was Twilight. Clients have been triggered by the films, she said, because it was so similar to the abusive situations they faced.

Hayley Croney, the other co-coordinator of the event, said many are unaware of the severity surround stalking.

“People are killed because of stalking more often than you think,” Croney said. “It can be things like just following, or showing up to your class, following you to a restaurant, just appearing in random places.

“I think stalking often gets thrown to the side as something not that serious,” she said. “[It’s like] you don’t deserve to get help, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, you should want it, you want someone obsessed with you, it’s romantic. But it’s not, not at all.”

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, roughly 15 percent of women and 6 percent of men are victims of stalking during their lives. Even more, weapons are used to harm or threaten victims 20 percent of the time.

The event isn’t intended for the audience members to be scared of every person they meet; Croney simply wants people to be aware of how dangerous being stalked is.

“We want it to be a serious event — this is a serious topic — but you shouldn’t be afraid of every person that interacts with you,” Croney said. “It’s important to recognize when these things happen, and these people, but we don’t want to scare anyone.

“I think it’s really important to end on that note because this may be happening in the movies, and it may have happened to you,” she said, “but here’s a list of amazing places in Iowa City that will help you during that difficult time.”



Stalking in the Cinema

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: 256 IMU

Admission: Free



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