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According to the Stalking Resource Center, "stalking is a series of actions that make you feel afraid or in danger. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time."
Stalkers may follow students, wait outside of their classroom, by their car, or frequently drive by their workplace, residence hall, or home. Cyberstalking is another form of stalking and may include harassment online; frequent texting, voicemails, or picture messages; installing programs to track internet use; or using GPS to track your location. Stalkers may also call and hang up, deliver unwanted notes or gifts, or damage a student's belongings.
There are many other actions stalkers may use to intimidate you or to monitor your behavior.
People may struggle to recognize stalking as a crime, because it is often a series of non-criminal offenses; however, stalking is, against the student code of conduct, and very serious. Stalking may also be perpetrated in combination with sexual violence and/or relationship violence.
Stalkers act in ways to monitor, track, harass, or intimidate. A stalker may:
- follow you
- purposely show up at places you frequent, such as the grocery store, a place of worship, or a favorite hangout
- wait for you at work, at your classroom, or your home
- drive by your home or place of employment
- repeatedly call and hang up or make otherwise harassing calls
- post unwanted messages on your MySpace or Facebook pages
- track your internet or phone use
- speak with friends, family, roommates, coworkers, conduct internet searches, hire investigators, or otherwise gather information to track you
- use GPS to track your location
- send unwanted notes, letters, e-mails, text or picture messages, or gifts
- damage your belongings
Common Responses to Stalking
Stalking is a serious crime, and victimization can cause serious trauma. There is no "normal" response to trauma; however, some common responses are listed below:
- terror, fear
- distraction or inability to concentrate
- nightmares/sleep disorders
- somatic and physical aftereffects
- long-term depression
- hypervigilance or PTSD
Some students may fear for their life or feel suicide is the only way to escape. There is help available!