Malia Obama Reported Her Stalker, But Many Women Stay Silent About Theirs

by Alexandra Svokos

Malia Obama's alleged stalker was reported to the New York Police Department this week, the New York Daily News reports.

Jair Nilton Cardoso, a 30-year-old, had allegedly been trying to get at Obama repeatedly in New York City, where she is interning before starting at Harvard in the fall.

He allegedly followed her while she was working at offices in Tribeca and the West Village.

Sources claimed that Cardoso got into the Tribeca building and held a sign asking to marry Obama. He also allegedly followed her out of the West Village building. Both of these incidents are alleged to have taken place in mid-April.

Obama is still under Secret Service protection.

Following these encounters, agents went to Cardoso's apartment in Brooklyn and interviewed him. They determined him to have psychiatric issues and sent him to the Kings County Hospital for further examination.

Cardoso was allegedly stalking Malia, but he is believed to be obsessed with reaching Barack Obama, according to NBC.

The Secret Service agents were actually already familiar with Cardoso because he allegedly had tried to get into the White House before. According to NBC, he wanted to marry Malia so he could get Barack to help his country.

The agents reported Obama's alleged stalker to the NYPD. The police were deciding about charges, but none were made as of Wednesday night.

Obama had her alleged stalker reported to the police, but many victims don't report.

Malia is obviously under very special circumstances that led to her alleged stalking. Those circumstances also gave her the Secret Service protection that, we hope, will keep her protected should the alleged stalking continue or escalate.

As an 18-year-old woman, Obama is in the highest-risk group of Americans for stalking. Overall, women are more likely to be stalked than men.

People between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most likely to be stalked, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

30 people out of every 1,000 aged 18 to 19 and 28 people out of every 1,000 aged 20 to 24 were stalked in 2006. On average, 14 out of every 1,000 people over the age of 18 were stalked.

It is a major issue on college campuses, with more than 13 percent of college women being stalked.

Stalking is a crime in every state, but a majority of victims do not report it to the police.

There are laws against stalking in all 50 states and federally, although the definitions differ.

Less than half of stalking victims report it to the police.

37 percent of stalking cases of men are reported to police, and 41 percent of stalking cases of women are reported to police.

These are not always reported by the victims themselves. It can be done by other people who know what's going on.

The people who didn't report said it was because it was a private case or because it was a minor incident, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report.

Even if stalking is reported, that doesn't mean it will be stopped.

About 20 percent of victims said that police didn't do anything when they were told about stalking, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Malia's alleged case is statistically unusual in that more often than not, victims personally know their stalkers. Many are former romantic and/or sexual partners.

These cases can become violent, and women are killed by former partners. 54 percent of femicide victims had reported stalking to the police before being killed by their stalkers, according to a 1999 study.

Stalking is a serious issue that affects millions of Americans every year.

It's important that Obama's alleged stalker was reported to the police, and there are many other young women across the country without Secret Service protection.

It's easy to pretend like something isn't a big deal and to make jokes about social media "stalking," but stalking is a real crime — whether allegedly committed against regular college students or former First Families.

Citations: Stalking Victimization In The United States (Bureau of Justice Statistics)