Meng Introduces Legislation to Expand Federal Anti-Stalking Laws
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) announced today that she has introduced the Expanded Stalking Protections Act (H.R. 5866), a measure that seeks to expand federal anti-stalking laws.
Presently, federal stalking laws make it a crime to threaten another person as well as their family or companion with harm that could result in injury or death. Meng’s measure would make it a crime to threaten the individual’s friends and co-workers as well.
“Adding friends and co-workers of stalking victims to the list of those who are protected from violence is common sense,” said Meng. “Co-workers and friends deserve the same protections from stalkers that family members receive, and this legislation would make that happen. It would also ensure that violent stalkers are fully punished for the crimes they commit. I urge the House hold a vote on this critical bill.”
According to the Justice Department’s Stalking Victimization in the United States Report, a friend or co-worker of a stalking target is almost twice as likely to be attacked by a stalker than is the stalking target’s child. Friends and co-workers also have a virtually equal chance as the stalking target’s other family members of being attacked by a stalker.
Meng’s legislation would cost no money if enacted into law; it would simply expand the number of individuals who become covered under the federal stalking statue.
The measure has been referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations where it is pending further action.