BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — It’s National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to bring awareness to the crime of stalking and recommit to protecting survivors.

Staff from Friendship of Women say despite its serious impacts, stalking goes unrecognized and encourages people to know it, name it and stop it.

Studies show that more than 3 million people from age 16 or older are victims of stalking on an annual basis across the nation.

The signs of stalking include continuous harassment, someone showing up in places where they more than likely wouldn’t be.

“Stalking is a pattern of repeated behavior, usually malicious in nature. It’s anything that can cause somebody to feel like they’re being threatened or if they’re intimidating them causing fear,” Alyssa Reyes, Outreach Services Coordinator for Friendship of Women said.

Reyes says there are also lesser known signs, such as repeated text messages and leaving notes on cars.

“Pursuing them to different locations, whether it’s work, whether it’s to the gym, whether it’s their place of residence, behaviors like that, that are repeated, not just one time but multiple times,” Reyes said.

If you’re afraid to make the reports, Friendship of Women can help by accompanying you to make that report.

“That’s the very first thing you got to do is you got to file a report, you got to document all the events that are happening. After several events, once you talk to a detective, they’re going to go ahead and press charges, either from harassment or stalking,” said Martin Sandoval, Public Information Officer Brownsville Police.

Brownsville police also recommend not posting your whereabouts on the internet.

“I know a lot of people like to put their whole lives on social media, we might want to have to take a little step back on that because that’s how a lot of people keep track of you through social media,” Sandoval said.

Friendship of Women will be hosting a virtual training on Jan. 10 focused on stalking in violent relationships and exploring the risk of sexual violence of those being stalked.