What is Stalking?
Unwanted pursuit is probably the best term to define stalking. There are many different behaviors that can be called stalking, but all share two common features: They involve actions not wanted by the victim and they cause the victim to feel threatened or fearful. New ways of stalking emerge frequently and no list can encompass them all, but stalking often includes:
Following or surveillance
Inappropriate approaches and confrontations
Appearing at a place of work or residence
Unwanted telephone calls
Threats to family and friends
Unwanted or threatening gifts
Unwanted pages or emails
Damage to property
What you can do to protect yourself:
- Know what the definition of stalking means.
- If you think you are being stalked, don't hesitate to call the police (589-1155), the campus police (6000), Violence Prevention Program (6061) or Someplace Safe (800-974-3359).
- If your stalker is someone you know, don't tiptoe around how you feel. People in our society are taught to not except no as an answer. If you tell someone that is stalking you that "you just want to be friends" or " I'm not ready for a relationship" then you are leaving room for the possibility that he/she has a chance at a relationship with you in the future.
- Tell someone! Remember that the law about stalking is made to protect the victim. It can only make things better.
- There are a ton of resources on stalking. Don't be afraid to take a look.
How to collect evidence of stalking:
Document all incidents (keep a stalking log or journal)
- Affidavits from witnesses
- Answering machine tapes
Preserve all evidence
- Letters, notes, e-mail
- Answering machine messages
- Photographs of damaged property, etc.