A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking occurs when someone watches, follows, or harasses you repeatedly, making you feel afraid or unsafe, and may occur from someone you know, a past partner, or a stranger.
STALKING IS A CRIME
If you are in immediate danger call 911.
Are You Being Stalked
A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women but men do stalk men, women do stalk women and women do stalk men.
Some things stalkers do:
- Repeatedly call you including hang-ups.
- Follow you and show up wherever you are.
- Send unwanted gifts, letters, text or e-mails.
- Damage your home, car or other property.
- Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
- Use technology like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS) to track where you go.
- Drive by or hang out at your home, school or work.
- Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends or pets.
- Find out about you by using public records or on-line search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, contacting friends, family, neighbors or coworkers.
- Other actions that control, track or frighten you.
YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR THE STALKER’S BEHAVIOR.
If you are stalked
Things you can do to increase your safety
- Don't communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.
- Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you or contacts you write down the time/date/place. Keep e-mails, phone messages, letters or notes. Photograph anything belonging to you the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw.
- Contact the police! Contact campus police!
- Consider getting a court (restraining) order to keep the stalker away from you.
- Tell family, friends, roommates and coworkers. Tell security staff at your job or school and ask them to help watch out for your safety.
- REMEMBER TO: change daily routines, let others know where you are going, know location of nearest police station, and avoid walking alone at night.
- Stalking is a crime under the laws of 50 states, District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, and the Federal Government.
- Less than 1/3 of states classify, stalking as a felony upon first offense.
- More than 1/2 of states classify stalking as a felony upon second offense or when the crime involves aggravating factors.
- Aggravating factors include: possession of a deadly weapon, violation of court order/probation/parole, victim under 16 years of age, or same victim as prior occasions.
Study of Stalkers
- 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
- 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
- Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
- Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
- Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.
- 6 -7.5 million people are stalked in one year in the US.
- 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime.
- The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
- 54% of female victims and 41% of male victims indicated they were stalked before the age of 25.
Impact of Stalking on Victims
- 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next.
- 29% of stalking victims fear that stalking will never stop.
- 1 in 8 employed stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization and more than half lose 5 days of work or more.
- 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization.
- The anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population.