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.
- 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
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 Unpublished raw data.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.