Violence Against Women Prevention Program

Stalking

Stalking can be defined as a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. A relatively new form of stalking, cyberstalking, can be defined as the use of electronic communication, including pagers, cell phones, emails, and the internet, to bully, threaten, harass, and intimidate a victim.

FORMS

  • Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications
  • Repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers
  • Following or laying in wait for the victim
  • Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim and the people around them
  • Damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property
  • Harassing the victim through the internet, cell phone, or other electronic device (i.e., cyberstalking)
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about the victim
  • Obtaining personal information to harass the victim

THE NUMBERS

Stalking Statistics on Guam

  • 93 incidents of family violence cases involved stalking

Source: Guam Police Department. (2006). [Family Violence Incidents]. Unpublished raw data.

U.S. Statistics on Stalking

  • 70-75% of stalking victims are female.
  • 85-90% of stalkers are male.
  • 8% of women and 2% of men are stalked at some point in their lifetime.
  • 60% of female victims and 30% of male victims are stalked by someone who has been an intimate partner.

Source: Villanova University. (n.d.). Stalking. Retrieved July 2, 2010, from www.villanova.edu/studentlife/counselingcenter/infosheets/psych_topics.htm?page=stalking.htm

U.S. College Statistics

  • Primary targets are young women ages 18 and 29 (52% of the traditional college age).
  • More than 13% reported being stalked in one college year.
  • 25% involved cyberstalking among college women.
  • 83% of stalking incidents were NOT reported to police or campus law enforcement.
  • 4 in 5 campus victims knew their stalkers:
    • 42.4 % - boyfriends/ex-boyfriends
    • 24.5% - classmates
    • 10.3% - acquaintances
    • 9.3% - friends
    • 5.6% - co-workers

Source: California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. (2002). Campus stalking. (Vol. 2). Sacramento, CA: Author.

TAKE ACTION NOW

  • Make a safety plan.
  • Develop a support network.
  • Contact university advocates and/or counselors to discuss available options.
  • Develop documentation of stalking incidents.
  • Obtain a protection or restraining order against the stalker.
  • Notify law enforcement of all incidents.
  • Vary routes of travel.
  • Save all physical evidence.
  • Be prepared to leave the area if necessary.
  • Use a cell phone.
  • Screen all calls.

WAYS TO HELP A VICTIM/SURVIVOR

  • Don’t minimize the situation.
  • If the victim/survivor is showing signs of strain, let him/her know what you notice about his/her behavior and express your concern.
  • Encourage the victim/survivor to keep a record of what has been happening.
  • Don’t investigate the situation. If a formal investigation needs to happen, you may inadvertently compromise that investigation.
  • Help the victim/survivor preserve evidence and keep records.
  • Be aware if you start to feel that you must become the victim/survivor’s bodyguard. Consider consulting with VAWPP if this is happening.
  • Do not confront the stalker—this can backfire and escalate the situation, putting the victim/survivor or yourself at risk. Do not make this about you.
  • If you have been the target of a similar situation, your experience may help. The victim/survivor’s reaction may differ, as well as his/her choices, but knowing that he/she isn’t alone can be helpful in itself.
  • Do the research to find out the resources and options, if the victim/survivor wants help.
  • If you haven’t been the target of a similar situation, you can listen and then learn more about the situation.
  • Consider referring the victim/survivor to a confidential and supportive resource like VAWPP.
 
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