Essential Pittsburgh
6:05 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Sarah's Anti-Stalking Law Is Just The Beginning

Sarah Pesi was about 13 years old when she was stalked by a stranger. Because of state laws, she couldn't obtain a restraining order.
Credit Women and Girls Foundation

A personal experience with a stalker, as a pre-teen, changed Sarah Pesi’s life. Because the person involved wasn’t a relative or a former boyfriend, she couldn’t obtain a restraining order. In Pennsylvania, 60% of stalking victims do not fill the relationship requirement for restraining orders.

With the support of Heather Arnet, CEO of the Women and Girl’s Foundation, Sarah has sought to change PA law.

According to Arnet, 38 states allow stalking victims to obtain restraining orders. "We’re one of the minorities. There’s only 12 states that don’t have that legislation on the books. So Sarah’s Amendment fixes that, most specifically for minors who are being stalked by a stranger, though certainly her hope is that will be the beginning of broader change for Pennsylvania law.”