Stalking is defined as a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would put a reasonable person in fear. Stalking is not one isolated incident, it can be one behavior happening regularly, or many different types of threatening behaviors that happen over time. Stalking is targeted and intentional.
Stalking behaviors may be difficult to identify. Initially, some can seem kind, friendly, or romantic (i.e. sending cards, candy, or flowers). However, if one person has indicated that they want no contact, these actions can seem controlling or scary. It is especially important to consider the pattern of behavior, including the type of action, frequency, and consistency, and if the behavior does not stop when the stalker is told to cease contact.
If you think you are experiencing stalking behaviors:
- It is not your fault.
- You are not alone.
- Making a safety plan can help you feel safer.
- Consider keeping a log of stalking related incidents for your records or for reports to the Title IX Office or law enforcement.
- Know that you do not have to make a decision to report stalking before accessing counseling, medical, or advocacy services.
Stalking behaviors can include:
- Following someone or showing up unexpectedly by your room, your class, or your workplace.
- Persistent unwanted gifts, texts, messages on social media, letters, calls, or emails.
- Damaging property.
- Monitoring phone or computer use.
- Using technology to track location.
- Threats to hurt you, your family, friends, and/or pets.
- Posting false information or spreading rumors about you.
Being stalked may cause anxiety, stress, nightmares, insomnia, or depression. It can make someone feel fearful, unsafe, or vulnerable. These reactions are normal and there are resources and options that can help.