All 50 states now have some form of protection for victims of stalking and sexual violence by strangers, reports Stateline. West Virginia became the fiftieth this year, rewriting a law that previously granted a protection order only if the victim lived in the same home or had an intimate partner relationship to the abuser.
Cyberstalking is a different story. Sixteen states provide no specific protection for victims of those who stalk online, says the National Conference of State Legislatures. “With stalking, people say 'what's the big deal, it's just email or texts,'” says Rebecca Dreke of the Stalking Resource Center, “but when you actually look at the multitude of ways that somebody can harm and hurt someone's life and the associated crimes (identity theft, reputation destruction, fraud) — this is the number one topic people ask us to talk about.” At the National Center for Victims of Crime, protection for victims of cyberstalking is the most requested law enforcement training program.