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How to Start and Facilitate a Support Group for Victims of Stalking

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2009
52 pages
This guide from the National Center for Victims of Crime presents information on how to start and facilitate a support group for victims of stalking.
This guide from the National Center for Victims of Crime is intended for use by victim service providers, volunteers, and other concerned individuals who wish to start and facilitate a support group for stalking victims. Research has shown that support groups, groups of individuals with similar problems, needs, or experiences who meet to find ways to better cope with their situations, can help individuals decrease their sense of isolation provide them with emotional support, and encourage them to develop healthy coping strategies. The information in this handbook is presented in six chapters and is based on feedback from several support groups who reviewed working drafts of the guide. The first chapter discusses the purpose of the guide, while chapter 2 presents important information regarding stalking and its impact on victims, and suggests methods for identifying local community responses to stalking, conducting a needs assessment, and working with community agencies. Chapter 3 presents information on the need for careful planning and critical thought when forming a support group. Chapter 4 discusses the role that facilitators play in conducting stalking support groups and whether they have the skill set and readiness to run the group. Chapter 5 presents several ideas for safely publicizing information regarding the stalking support group and for screening support group members. Chapter 6 provides recommendations for facilitators on ideas for creating welcoming group environments, meeting sessions, and common group phases. Appendixes