Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalkers have an emotional obsession with the victim and tend to hold a selfish perception of the relationship. Through stalking, they empower themselves to feel omnipotent and in control of the relationship while creating a state of vulnerability in the other person. Stalking behavior includes following the victim to class, the theater, the grocery store, home, etc.; repeated harassing attempts to communicate via phone, email, text message, letters, etc.; giving unwanted gifts; vandalizing the victim’s property; and paying unwanted attention to the victim. Stalkers can be male or female, and their targets can be members of the same or opposite sex.
If you become aware of a student who is feeling unsafe around another person and believes they are being stalked:
- Encourage the student to trust their instincts.
- Refer the student to Counseling Services, 906-487-2538.
- Refer the student to the Office of Academic and Community Conduct, 906-487-2212
- Advise the student to call Public Safety and Police Services, 906-487-2216, or local police (911).
- Report the incident to the Title IX coordinator. The Title IX coordinator will provide assistance and resources.
- Advise the student to document each stalking incident and save correspondence so it may be used as evidence.
- Advise the student to contact Public Safety and Police Services if they do not feel safe walking on campus. Public Safety and Police Services offers a Safe-Walk program, which provides an escorted walk to and from campus locations, and can be reached at 906-487-2216.
- Ignore or minimize the situation.
- Blame the student for inviting the obsession.
- Feel responsible for protecting the student.
This page was adapted with permission from material developed by the University of California, Santa Barbara.