Are You Being Stalked?

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Our Gender-Based Misconduct Policy provides you with detailed information about your rights as a victim of stalking, your options for reporting, and resources available to you.

You can also quickly get helpful phone numbers by selecting the campus you attend.

What is Stalking?

Stalking is a series of actions that make the victim feel afraid and in danger. Stalking usually escalates over time and is often violent, therefore, you must take stalking seriously.

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. Persons aged 18–24 years of age experience the highest rate of stalking. One in six women and one in nineteen men in the United States have experienced stalking during their lifetime.

Examples of stalking can include:

  • Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications from a perpetrator by phone, text, mail, email, or social media
  • Repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers
  • Following, laying in wait, or passing by the victim at places such as home, school, work, or recreational facilities
  • Using technology to track the victim's whereabouts
  • Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, the victim's children, relatives, friends, or pets.
  • Damaging or threatening to damage the victim's property
  • Harassing victim through the internet
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth
  • Obtaining personal information about the victim by accessing public records, using internet search services, hiring private investigators, going through the victim's garbage, following the victim, contacting * victim's friends, family work, or neighbors, etc.
  • Other forms of cyberstalking, such as using the internet, email, social media, or other electronic communication to stalk someonethe victim. It can include sending electronic viruses, pretending to be the victim or someone else online, tracking the victim's computer and social media use, posting improper or threatening messages on social media or the internet, etc.
  • Any other actions that are for the purpose of causing fear and that attempt to control the victim

What Should I Do To Stay Safe?

  • If you are in immediate danger, contact 911.
  • Contact the police. Every state has stalking laws.
  • Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you.
  • If you are on campus, contact campus security.
  • Send the person a clear, written warning not to contact you again.
  • Don't continue to communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you once you have made clear that you do not want him or her contacting you.
  • Save all text messages, voicemails, emails, postings, etc. Keep all evidence of the stalking.
  • Take threats seriously and act in a manner to protect your safety.
  • Contact a crisis hotline, domestic violence or rape crisis program.
  • Develop a safety plan, which includes things like changing your routine and avoid traveling alone.
  • Tell important people in your life about the stalking problem, including the police, your employer, family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Carry a cellphone at all times so you can call for help.
  • Consider changing your phone number (though some people leave their number active to collect evidence). You also can ask the phone company about call blocking and other safety features.
  • Look into options for blocking and enabling other privacy options on your electronic devices and social media accounts.
  • Consider changing your online accounts and passwords
  • Limit your online postings that may identify your whereabouts and personal information.
  • File a complaint with the person's Internet Service Provider (ISP).

How Am I Going To Feel?

  • Emotional shock and disbelief that this is happening
  • Embarrassment
  • Fear of what the stalker will do
  • Vulnerable and feeling unsafe
  • Fearful of trusting people to help you
  • Depressed, overwhelmed, angry
  • Stressed
  • Confused, frustrated, isolated

Getting Support

Stalking can often be related to an ongoing or previous abusive relationship, and therefore we encourage you to read Are You in an Abusive relationship.

Stalking can also be unpredictable, adding to the stress that you may already feel. Seek help to deal with the emotions you are having by reaching out to NYIT's Counseling and Wellness Center professionals or a community resource in addition to friends and family. Ask for help when you need it.

Find other ways to take care of yourself, reduce your stress, and make yourself feel safe, as dealing with stalking can be an emotionally and physically overwhelming situation. Take time to be creative and do something that you enjoy and remember that everyone copes with these difficult situations differently.