“In every State across our Nation, stalking is a crime. It is unacceptable behavior that violates the most basic principles of respect and decency, infringing on our fundamental right to feel safe and secure. At some point in their lives, 1 in 6 American women will be stalked. This abuse creates distress and takes a profound toll on its victims and our communities…”
What is Stalking?
Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or suffer severe emotional distress. One
engages in an impermissible course of conduct if one engages in two or more acts that include, but are not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person in a way prohibited as described above, or interferes with a person’s property.
Stalking can take many forms:
- following someone,
- making threats to the victim or someone close to them,
- sending unwanted gifts,
- making unwanted or unsolicited phone calls or emails
- property damage
How to Help…
Remember that every situation is different, and allow the person being stalked to make choices about how to handle it.
- Listen. If someone says they are being stalked, believe them.
- Do not blame your friend for the crime.
- Show support.
- Do not respond to the stalker in any way.
- Advise your friend to document everything. You can also document any incidences of stalking that you witness. A sample documentation log can be found here.
- Do not give any information out about your friend, no matter what the stalker may say.
- Offer to accompany your friend to places so she/he does not have to be alone.
- Refer your friend to campus or local resources that can help.
- Talk with them about options to report the crime both on and off campus. For more information click here.