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Webb Weekly is a family-oriented newspaper direct mailed to over 58,000 homes each week.

Webb Weekly

280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

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January is Stalking Awareness Month

Normally if I receive a press release or article that I feel warrants sharing in my space, I will re-write or change or add to it before I publish it. However, in this case I felt that not only did the information warrant my space, but there wasn’t much I could do to improve upon

Normally if I receive a press release or article that I feel warrants sharing in my space, I will re-write or change or add to it before I publish it. However, in this case I felt that not only did the information warrant my space, but there wasn’t much I could do to improve upon the content. So this week, I am giving up most of my space to share the YWCA’s information on ‘Stalking Awareness Month’. This is a subject I firmly believe does not get enough attention. It is often overlooked, and can quickly become a dangerous situation for those on the receiving end.

Please stick through to the end though. I’ve got something else to share with you!

Stalking affects countless individuals across Lycoming County every single day. The YWCA Northcentral PA aims to help those who are experiencing stalking and provide information to the community about what someone should do if they are being stalked.

Stalking is repeated and unwanted attention, harassment or contact directed at a specific person that would cause a person to feel fear. This can take the form of following someone, repeatedly visiting their home or place of employment, frequent phone calls, sending unwanted gifts or constantly texting, messaging or emailing them.

Wise Options has educated, helpful staff members who work with victims to figure out the best steps to ensure their safety. If you or someone you know is experiencing stalking, please call our 24/7 crisis hotline at 1-800-326-8483.

It is most common for someone to be stalked by somebody they know, said Chad Hahn, Wise Options legal advocate. It can be a friend, former romantic partner or a total stranger.

“If you think somebody might be stalking you, trust your instincts,” he said. “If you think something is going on, it probably is.”

Threats should always be taken seriously and never be brushed off as empty words especially when lives are at stake.

Hahn encourages victims to seek out their options whether that is contacting Wise Options or law enforcement to create a safety plan.

Collecting evidence and documenting when the victim is contacted by the stalker is essential in proving that their actions are persistent, he said. Create a log with the date, time and location of the incident that can be kept on hand.

“Keep notes, gifts, photos of damaged property, texts and voicemail messages as additional proof,” Hahn said.

Working with him or another Wise Options staff member, they help their clients create a safety plan, which can involve pressing charges, getting a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) or relocation.

Wise Options focuses on helping all victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes in Lycoming County. The free services available are an emergency shelter, crisis hotline, legal advocacy, counseling and prevention education.

For more about the YWCA and Wise Options, please visit http://www.ywcawilliamsport.org.

Thank you again to the YWCA for always providing the resources, help and protection women may not be able to find elsewhere.

On the sharing note…

As a new year starts, we try to freshen things up in the pages of Webb Weekly. We’ve added a couple of new writers and Jimmy and I have been working on some new features. This week, page 14 has one of the new additions. We are going to be featuring pets from various shelters that are looking for their ‘Furever Homes’. So please check that out and maybe you can find your next furbaby!

We also want to see your views from around the area. Have you taken a picture of an amazing sunset? A beautiful bald eagle? Or maybe just your favorite pet doing something hilarious or adorable? Please send it to me and it may be featured in an upcoming edition of the paper! Keep an eye out for ‘Focus on the Valley’ coming soon! You can submit your pics, along with your name, hometown and a brief description to webbnews@webbweekly.com.

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