Whitmore Author Sandi Musk Featured in Jan. 26 National Enquirer, Negotiating Appearance on Nationally Syndicated Television Talk Show

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January is National Stalking Awareness Month and Whitmore Author Sandi Musk is featured in the January 26 National Enquirer. She also is in negotiations to appear on a nationally syndicated television talk show.

January is National Stalking Awareness Month and Whitmore Author Sandi Musk is featured in the January 26 National Enquirer. She also is in negotiations to appear on a nationally syndicated television talk show. Musk is the author of Stalked! From Victim to Victory, A Journey to Self. The compelling autobiographical account tells her life story: from her childhood during which she felt herself to be an inconvenience to her parents; to a string of failed relationships; and then a chance meeting with a friendly stranger who turned out, in the end, to be a stalker who terrorized and almost killed her. But Musk's courageous and intimate account does not end there. The story continues as Sandi Musk heals and rebuilds her life by committing herself to helping other victims of stalking and domestic abuse.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. An estimated 1.4 million American women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner. A full 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women. Historically, most females have been victimized by someone they know. In 70 - 80 percent of intimate partner homicides, the man physically abused the woman before the murder. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. Domestic abuse and violence are about power and control. The abuse can be emotional, psychological, physical, or sexual. These are the startling, cold facts that this book, Stalked!, brings to life in describing the struggle and survival of a very real and vulnerable woman, Sandi Musk.

After six months of dating the man who became her stalker, Musk tried to break up with him. He beat her within an inch of her life, leaving her unable to move and with damage to her eye and multiple broken bones. The attack began in her home, where she was viciously beaten and bitten. He bit off her ear, then, after attempting to drown her, he took her in her car to a remote location where he intended to kill her. Miraculously, after a six-hour ordeal, Musk escaped. Her attacker left on foot and hid from police for two years. During this time, Musk was placed into the Witness Protection Program for her own safety. Finally her abuser was captured and she was able to return to her life.

Musk has founded SELF (Self Empowerment, Life Fulfillment), a non-profit organization that supports those who are victims of stalking and domestic abuse. A former member of the U.S.Army, Musk is currently studying criminal justice. The co-author, Anita Levine is a professional writer who has won several awards for her poetry. She has taught high school English and creative writing.

Stalked! From Victim to Victory, A Journey to Self (2008, paperback, $22.00, ISBN 978-0-87426-8) is available from the publisher, Whitmore Publishing. For more information contact: 866-451-1966.

During January 2009, communities across the country will observe National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affects 1.4 million victims a year. This year's theme, "Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It." challenges the nation to combat this dangerous crime by learning more about it. Stalking is a criminal justice and public health problem and is linked to intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and intimate partner homicide. Data from a 2005 CDC study indicated that approximately 7 million women and 2 million men in the United States had been stalked at some time during their lifetime. Although some stalkers are strangers, most victims know the person who is stalking them; often, the stalker is a spouse or partner, ex-spouse, acquaintance, or family member.

Although the legal definition of stalking varies widely from state to state, the term "stalking" generally refers to harassing or threatening behavior a person engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or work, making harassing phone calls, leaving threatening messages, or vandalizing a person's property. Stalking can disrupt a victim's life at home, school, and work and affect their relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. Stalking also can lead to violence. In an estimated 25%--35% of cases, stalkers commit violence against the persons they are stalking. Factors that increase the likelihood of violence by stalkers are verbal threats and having had a prior intimate relationship with the victim. A 10-city, nationally representative study of female homicide victims conducted in 1999 indicated that 76% of female victims of intimate partner homicides were stalked by their partners before they were killed.

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Kathleen Haak
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