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University Police

2014 Edition, April Issue

Stalking on College Campuses
by Sgt. Ed Jones

     Stalking refers to harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly. Aspects of stalking may include; following a person, leaving harassing messages on a person's cell phone, emailing harassing messages, appearing at a person's home or place of business, or vandalizing a person's property. 

     Stalking on campus on campus is a difficult behavior to recognize. Stalking does not occur just once, but in a series of threatening scenarios that need to be dealt with or violence may ensue. Stalking may begin harmlessly. A person may receive unwanted phone calls or email messages, stalkers may wait for a person after class or work, stalkers may want you to go out on a date with them. Every case of stalking has to be considered serious and dealt with immediately. If not confronted early a stalker may cross the line into criminal activity and harm could possibly occur. Stalkers are motivated by obsession and a desire for control.

     College campuses generally offer an open atmosphere that is very appealing to students, many are living away from home for the first time - without direct parental supervision. College buildings provide easy access to virtually anyone who wishes to enter the premises. Student tend to follow predictable schedules, attending classes and eating meals the same time each day weak after week. Add the fact that there are numerous social opportunities and the risk factors increase making students more vulnerable to stalking.  

Here are some key findings;

13% of the college women have been stalked since the school year began.  80% of the victims knew or had seen their stalker before. Stalking incidents lasted on average for 2 months. 83% of stalking incidents were  NOT reported police.

If you feel uncomfortable about the way someone is treating you or wanting to be around you, do not wait report. You are not getting someone in trouble, you are protecting yourself.

* The above information was found from The National Center for Victims of Crime, Stalking Resource Center


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