What is Stalking?
Stalking refers to engaging in a menacing course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (A) Fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (B) Suffer substantial emotional distress.
Signs of Stalking
- Unwanted phone calls, messages, letters or emails
- Following, waiting, or showing up at class, work or home without invitations
- The person always seems to know where you are
- Cyber Stalking
- Keeping tabs on social media accounts
- Using GPS enabled apps to keep tabs on location, such as Snapchat
National Stalking Awareness Month
January is National Stalking Awareness Month and an opportune time to provide information and create awareness regarding stalking, specifically the potential of cyberstalking in the workplace. The CDC reports 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have been victims of stalking (The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report, 2011). Though stalking does affect millions of men and women every year, it is often misunderstood, minimized, and/or ignored.
In the article “The Use of Technology to Stalk and the Workplace”, Maya Raguem, a senior attorney at Futures Without Violence, stresses the role employers should play when someone in the workplace is a victim or perpetrator of cyberstalking. Recognizing stalking is the first step. Raghu cites a recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice that found unwanted phone calls and messages and unwanted letters and emails were the most common forms of cyber stalking. Other examples include email spoofing, text messaging and sexting, impersonating the victim on social media, online impersonations of the victim to place online sex ads or solicit sex, and the use of GPS to track the victim.
If you notice any of these examples, act. Don’t ignore it. Don’t downplay it. Don’t assume someone else will report. If you are made aware of potential stalking, it is important that any concerns are taken seriously and reported appropriately. Contact your supervisor or the Title IX Coordinator. Michigan Tech ensures its faculty and staff a safe workplace free from discrimination and harassment.