Stalking is a crime that encompasses a variety of behaviors that may occur on or off campus or in cyberspace. Stalkers use different behaviors to establish and/or maintain contact with victims, to intimidate, and ultimately to try to control the person who is the target of their behavior. Stalkers may be current or former partners, classmates, coworkers, friends, or strangers, and most victims report that they know the stalker.
Stalking may include, but is not limited to, the following types of behaviors:
- repeatedly visiting or "dropping by" uninvited;
- sending anonymous letters or other types of mailings such as e-mail;
- making persistent phone calls with or without leaving a message;
- giving unwanted gifts;
- following the victim while walking, driving or taking the campus bus, to class, or in other settings;
- watching and/or spying on the victim;
- writing threatening comments or graffiti where the victim will see it;
- showing up wherever the victim is, tracking the victim's schedule.
If You Believe You Are Being Stalked
If you are being stalked, you can report this to your local law enforcement agency. If you wish to make a report of stalking to the criminal or civil justice system, here are steps to take:
- Cease and Desist Request
- Evidence Collection and Log Keeping
- Anti-Stalking Restraining Order
- Civil Action
- Making a Police Report
Important factors to remember:
- it is helpful to keep a journal of the stalker's behaviors, including dates, times, and places of incidences, and what occurred;
- it may be helpful to tell your friends, roommates, employer, and anyone else with whom you spend time as a safety precaution;
- if you live on-campus, it may be helpful to tell residence life staff as a safety precaution;
- it is helpful to keep evidence of the stalker's behavior, such as gifts, letters, phone messages, etc. Stalking victim kits are designed to assist with evidence collection, and are available from SAS/CVA.