Lakewood Congregational To Host Ranger 360 Program - "Stalking: A Misunderstood Crime" On May 7

The statistics are frightening: One in six women and one in 19 men experience stalking victimization at some point in their life. And between the ages of 11 and 17, those numbers are even more pronounced: one in five for girls and one in 14 for boys, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

To help parents and teens recognize the danger signs of stalking behaviors within a relationship and to direct them to available support resources, the acclaimed Ranger 360 project is presenting “Stalking: A Misunderstood Crime” on Wednesday, May 7 in the social hall of Lakewood Congregational Church, 1375 W. Clifton Blvd. from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The program will feature a presentation by Lakewood resident Debbie Riddle, a freelance graphic designer who became a national speaker on stalking when her youngest sister, Peggy Klinke, was murdered by a stalker in 2003. Riddle’s activism in the wake of her sister’s murder led to a congressional briefing, and ultimately to the declaration of National Stalking Awareness month each January.

An officer from the Lakewood Police Department will also be on hand to discuss stalking as it relates to teens.

Research data show that teen stalking victims experience a wide variety of negative consequences, including sleep disturbance, increased fear and anxiety, depression and withdrawal from family and friends. But studies show that teens are reluctant to discuss stalking or relationship problems they are experiencing with parents, and parents have a significant knowledge gap on the issues.

For instance, a 2007 study on technology-based harassment in teen relationships found that 78% of teens harassed on a social networking site do not tell their parents. Similarly, 72% of teens who have been checked on 10 or more times in an hour via text or email do not share that information.

The cycle of harassment and stalking can be broken, though, and the May 7 program at Lakewood Congregational Church will point teens and their parents to organizations that offer guidance and assistance.

The program is the latest community engagement effort of the Ranger 360 project, which is a Lakewood City Schools partnership with the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center and the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Its goal is to work with students, parents, teachers, administrators and the Lakewood community at-large to develop a school and community-based response to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

For information about the May 7 program, call the Lakewood Congregational Church office at 216-221-9555 or email

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 11:16 AM, 04.29.2014