Voices Against Violence

What is Stalking?

Social Definition

Legal Definitions

PLU Policy and Stalking

Resources for Stalking Victims

Social definition of Stalking:

A pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Keeping in mind that context is key.

- (National Stalking Resource Center)

Legal definitions of Stalking and Cyberstalking:

A person commits the crime of stalking if, without lawful authority and under circumstances not amounting to a felony attempt of another crime:

(a)  He or she intentionally and repeatedly harasses or repeatedly follows another person; and

(b)  The person being harassed or followed is placed in fear that the stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or property of the person or of another person. The feeling of fear must be one that a reasonable person in the same situation would experience under all the circumstances; and

(c)  The stalker either:

 (i)  Intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass the person; or

 (ii)  Knows or reasonably should know that the person is afraid, intimidated, or harassed even if the stalker did not intend to place the person in fear or intimidate or harass the person.

(Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 9A.46.110. Stalking. (2007))

 A person is guilty of cyberstalking if he or she, with intent to harass, intimidate, torment, or embarrass any other person, and under circumstances not constituting telephone harassment, makes an electronic communication to such other person or a third party:

(a)  Using any lewd, lascivious, indecent, or obscene words, images, or language, or suggesting the commission of any lewd or lascivious act;

(b)  Anonymously or repeatedly whether or not conversation occurs; or

(c)  Threatening to inflict injury on the person or property of the person called or any member of his or her family or household.

 

PLU Policy and Stalking:

Though PLU does not currently have a stand-alone stalking policy, stalking behavior is prohibited through policies related to Computer Use, University Violence Prevention, and Sexual Misconduct. You can visit the Student Code of Conduct Website to view these policies in full. PLU will uphold the Washington state policies and laws around the issue of stalking in order to protect its students and preserve their individual rights.

Resources for Stalking Victims:

Stalking is not acceptable and there are services available both on and off campus. The PLU’s Voices Against Violence Program is a resource for victims of stalking to obtain a Protection Order, learn how to increase their safety, and connect with additional resources. Victim’s can also contact Campus Safety and Student Conduct.

10 Facts About Stalking:

1.     STALKING IS A CRIME 

  • It is against the law in all 50 states. The federal government prohibits stalking across state lines or in federal territories. 

2.     MANY PEOPLE ARE STALKED 

  • During a 6-9 month period 13% of college women were stalked. 
  • 80% of stalking victims knew their stalker.

3.     STALKING CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS 

  • Stalkers should be considered highly dangerous and unpredictable. The stalker may result to damaging the victims’ property or physically or sexually assaulting the victim. In some cases stalking has even lead to death.

4.     STALKING IS HARMFUL AND INTRUSIVE

  • Many stalking victims suffer from anxiety, insomnia, and severe depression as a result of being stalked. They may also have to relocate or take time off of work due to being stalked.

5.     ANYONE CAN BE STALKED

  • While women do have a higher rate of stalking victimization, men can also be stalked. Often time the victim will also know their stalker.

6.     STALKING CAN OCCUR DURING A RELATIONSHIP, AFTER A RELATIONSHIP, OR IN THE ABSENCE OF A RELATIONSHIP

  • All forms of stalking are unpredictable, and all should be considered dangerous. It can happen at any time during any relationship. There is no predictable factor that determines the starting point for being stalked.

7.     TECHNOLOGY CAN BE USED TO STALK

  • Technology has the potential to empower stalkers because they have much easier access and control within the victim’s life. Cell phones, computers, and surveillance equipment are just some of the technologies stalkers now use.

8.     AN EFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO STALKING INCLUDES THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY

  • Police, prosecutors, advocates, educators, reporters, neighbors…everyone can and should play a part in the eradication of stalking. Stalking is a social issue that we can solve together.

9.     YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

10.  HELP IS AVAILABLE