What is stalking?
Stalking is unwanted pursuit, involving actions directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking can occur during a relationship, after a relationship, or in the absence of relationship. Stalking usually involves conduct that serves to harass, intimidate and frighten the victim, including physical surveillance, phone calls, electronic communications, and/or letter writing.
How to Identify if You're Being Stalked
A stalker may:
- Follow you and show up wherever you are.
- Repeatedly call you, including hang-ups.
- Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, text messages, instant messages, or emails.
- Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work.
- Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
- Damage your home, car, or other property.
- Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
- Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems, to track where you go.
- Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage; or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
- Other actions that control, track, or frighten.
If you believe that you are being stalked, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself:
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Trust your instincts. Don't downplay the danger. If you feel unsafe, you probably are.
- Take threats seriously. Danger often is highest when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship, or the abuser talks about suicide or murder.
- Get help from a campus or community resource. They can help you make a safety plan, give you information about state laws, refer you to other services, and weigh options, such as seeking a protection order.
- Develop a safety plan for when you go to class, the dining or residence hall, your job, or other social situations. Involve friends, family and school administrators.
- Don't communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.
- Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you or contacts you, write down the time, date and place.
- Keep e-mails, phone messages, letters, or notes. Photograph anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw.
- Contact the police. Every state has stalking laws. The stalker may also have broken other laws by doing things like assaulting you, or stealing or destroying your property.
- Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you.
- Tell your friends, roommates, and others about the abuse and seek their support.
If you are being stalked, please know that it is not your fault. You are not alone. There are many resources available on the Linfield campus. If you would like to talk to someone, and don't know where start, please contact: Linfield Counseling Office: (503) 413-7873.
If you are in immediate danger, please call Portland Police at 911.
If you are not in immediate danger but still would like to make a report, please call Portland Police Non-Emergency (503) 823-3333