Stalking, which is defined as repeatedly contacting another person when contacting person knows or should know that the contact is unwanted by the other person; and the contact causes the other person reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm or the contacting person knows or should know that the contact causes substantial impairment of the other person’s ability to perform the activities of daily life.
As used in this definition, the term “contacting” includes, but is not limited to, communicating with (including internet communication via e-mail, instant message, on- line community or any other internet communication) or remaining in the physical presence of the other person.
Taken from the Board of Regents Sexual Misconduct Reporting, Support Services and Processes Policy
What are the Signs?
Some warning signs are if a person(s):
- Shows up at your home or place of work unannounced or uninvited.
- Sends you unwanted text messages, letters, emails and voicemails.
- Leaves unwanted items, gifts or flowers.
- Constantly calls you and hangs up.
- Uses social networking sites and technology to track you.
- Spreads rumors about you via the internet or word of mouth.
- Makes unwanted phone calls to you.
- Calls your employer or professor.
- Waits at places you hang out, or is always waiting outside your classroom or dorm
- Uses other people as resources to investigate your life. For example, looking at your Facebook page through someone else’s page or befriending your friends in order to get more information about you.
- Damages your home, car or other property.
What If I am Being Stalked?
If you are in immediate danger, call 911 and report everything that’s happened to the police. Another options is to obtain a protection order that makes it illegal for the stalker to come near you. Check the Resources page for more information on support and advocacy services.
Remember to save important evidence such as:
- Text messages
- Letters, photos and cards
- Unwanted items or gifts
- Social media friend requests
You should also write down the times, places and dates all incidents occurred. Include the names and contact information of people who witnessed what happened.
It is also important to show evidence that the victim has directly instructed the stalker to stay away. The stalker must hear or read on one occasion that you do not want any type of contact with him or her. After the initial “no-contact” statement, it is best not to communicate at all with the stalker.
Adapted from National Stalking Resource Center
How Might I Feel?
Stalking is traumatic. You may experience nightmares, lose sleep, get depressed, have anxiety, or feel like you’re no longer in control of your life. Stalking can also affect the ability to go to school or work. These reactions are normal. It can help to tell your friends and family about the stalking and develop a safety plan.
Remember - You are not to blame, no matter what. Stalking is not caused by something you have done.