Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Unlike other crimes that involve a single incident, stalking is a pattern of behavior. It is often made up of individual acts that could, by themselves, seem harmless or noncriminal, but when taken in the context of a stalking situation, could constitute criminal acts. – Victim Connect Resource Center
Stalking is an action directed at a specific person that would cause a this specific, reasonable person to feel fear. It’s also series of incidents that can escalate and lead to violence. Persons ages 18 to 24 (average age of college students) experienced the highest rates of stalking victimization.¹
Stalking results from a pattern of behavior composed of two or more acts over a period of time, which could be short.² A “reasonable person” standard asks if a reasonable person in similar circumstances would be made afraid by the perpetrator’s behavior. The victim may feel frightened, intimidated or threatened, or fear that the stalker intends to injure the victim, another person, or the property of the victim or of another person close to the victim. The victim may also feel terrorized.
Some characteristics of stalking include non-consensual communication, including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, texts, email, social networking site postings, instant messaging, postings of pictures or information on websites, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear. Other examples include:
• Following, pursuing, waiting, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom, or other locations frequented by a victim
• Surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means
• Non-consensual touching
• Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a victim or a victim’s loved ones
• Gathering of information about a victim from family, friends, co-workers, and/or classmates
• Manipulative and controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself, or threats to harm someone close to the victim
• Defamation or slander against the victim
¹ Katrina Baum, Shannan Catalano, Michael Rand, and Kristina Rose, Stalking Victimization in the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009)
² Model Campus Stalking Policy, Futures Without Violence
Examples of Stalking
- Calls you over and over again, even when you asked them to stop
- Follows you without your permission
- Shows up in same spaces as you
- Sending you unwanted gifts and/or unwanted communication like emails, texts, calls
- Monitors you without your knowledge – uses stalking apps to track your calls and messages, uses gps apps to know where you are
- Threatens you, your family, or friends
- Damages your property – car, home, bike, etc.
How does stalking affect American Indian/Alaska Native women?
According to the 2016 National Institute of Justice Research Report: Violence Against American Indian/Alaska Native Women and Men:
- 48.8% of American Indian/Alaska Native women experienced stalking in their lifetime
- 11.6% of American Indian/Alaska Native women experienced stalking in the past year
- This means 1 out of 2 or 50% of American Indian/Alaska Native women have been stalked at some point in their life.
The National Institute of Justice Report can be found here https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/249736.pdf
If someone you know is being stalked, there are resources available:
Victim Connect Resource Center
Victim Connect has a list of resources available for persons experiencing stalking, information available includes information on what to do if you’re being stalked, a guide for creating a safety plan, facts, and information on local resources.
If you need help finding an advocate to assist you, please contact CSVANW at 505-243-9199, although we do not provide direct services, we can refer you to a local advocacy agency.
Or you can contact the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence, who can put you in a contact with a victim advocate in your local area: www.nmcadv.org or 505-246-9240.