Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others, or for the individual to suffer substantial emotional distress.
Stalking includes unwanted, repeated, or cumulative behaviors that serve no purpose other than to threaten, or cause fear for another individual.
Common stalking acts include, but are not limited to: harassing, threatening or obscene phone calls, excessive and/or threatening communication, following, vandalism of personal property, and/or leaving/giving unwanted gifts or objects. Stalking includes cyberstalking.
Stalking can happen to anyone of any age, gender, race, ethnicity, size, strength, sexual orientation, religion and physical or mental ability. It also happens between ex-partners, friends, family, acquaintances or strangers. Stalking is an insidious and often hard-to-prove crime. It can make the victim feel “crazy” and confused. One option you may want to consider is completing this tracking form if you think you might be the victim of stalking.
What to Do if You’re Receiving Unwanted Attention or Being Stalked
- If you believe you are being stalked, call 911.
- You are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students Office and learn of any available services to assist in safety planning.
- If you feel safe enough to do so, firmly and clearly tell the other individual involved that you do not appreciate the attention and you want it to stop. If the behavior continues, call 911.
- Keep record that includes incidents, behaviors, gifts or sightings of the other individual. Additional documentation can simplify the process of reporting the incident to police and/or obtaining a restraining order if that is something you decide to do. Ask your family, friends, co-workers, roommates and neighbors to support you in this regard.
- Trust your instincts and take threats seriously.
- Understand that stalking-like behavior can escalate and may not “just go away” unless you take action to stop it.
- Believe that you deserve to feel safe.
- Don’t isolate yourself. Tell your co-workers, neighbors, roommates, friends, family and anyone you interact with to not share your information or whereabouts with anyone without your permission.
Take Care of Yourself!
Create a strong support system of friends, family and co-workers. Stalking can cause emotional stress, exhaustion, disrupted sleeping or eating patterns. UConn has resources to help you.