What is stalking?
- stalking is a series of actions that make a person feel afraid or in danger
- stalking can be done by someone the victim knows well or not at all; the majority of stalkers, however, are people known to the victims—an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, classmate, friend, or acquaintance
- stalking is a crime that is serious and often violent
Examples of Stalking
- repeatedly calling, texting, or emailing
- following you or showing up wherever you go
- sending unwanted gifts
- damaging your property
- driving by or hanging out where you live, go to class, or work
- threatening to hurt you, your family, friends or pets
What Can You Do?
Stalking is unpredictable and no two situations are alike. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another, but the following actions may help you to increase your safety:
- If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
- Trust your gut and take threats seriously. Don't downplay what is going on. If you feel that you are unsafe, you probably are.
- Issue a "No Contact Statement". Give a one-time statement to the stalker that you no longer wish to have contact with him or her.
- Contact University Police Services. University Police Services is the primary safety contact for members of the campus community. They can help you devise a safety plan, connect you with other resources and discuss options such as seeking a protection order.
- Tell family, friends, roommates and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support. Ask them to help watch out for your safety.
- Develop a safety plan. Include in it things like changing your daily routine and having a friend go places with you. Also, decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up where you live, work or take classes. University Police Services and the Women's Center can help you make a safety plan.
- Keep Evidence. Save emails, phones messages, texts, notes, etc. Write down times, dates, and places of contact. Documentation can assist you in obtaining a protection order.
- Protect your personal information. Stalkers gather personal information about their victims from a wide variety of sources. Be cautious about what you post on social media sites and what you throw away in your garbage. Think about other ways the person stalking you can obtain your personal information and take steps to safeguard it.
- Seek help to deal with the emotions you are having. Fear, anxiety, stress, frustration, and depression are common reactions to being stalked. University Psychological Services can help. Call (330)672-2487 to make an appointment.
- Don't communicate with the stalker or respond to his/her attempts to contact you. Stalkers can be unreasonable and unpredictable. Confronting or trying to reason with a stalker can be dangerous.
*Adapted from materials created by the National Center for Victims of Crime Stalking Resource Center