- Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 08:19 AM
SPRINGFIELD- In 2016, roughly 6.6 million people were stalking in the United States according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.
State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is pushing for Senate Bill 623 which would expand Illinois’ stalking laws to include stalkers who use technological means such as phone tracking applications to pursue their victims.
“Your phone should be a tool to help you feel safe, not make you more vulnerable to potential stalkers,” Cullerton said. “We live in an age where we take our phones everywhere. If a stalker has access to tracking applications on a victim’s cellphone it will accelerate dangerous behavior.”
The Department of Justice reports that 1 in 13 victims were stalked through the use of GPS technology and other forms of electronic monitoring. With the advancement of technology there is a potential for this figure to dramatically increase.
“It’s important for us to put protections in place to protect victims from technological advances,” Cullerton said.
Senate Bill 623 will declare the use of technology as placing a person under surveillance for the purpose of stalking which is a criminal offense.
Senate Bill 623 is currently in the Senate’s Committee on Criminal Law. Cullerton is also the sponsor of House Bill 3251 which is similar to his initiative.