What is Stalking?
Stalkers often are trying to intimidate, harass, and control their victims. They may do this in a number of ways. The behavior may start slowly and escalate. For instance, a stalker may begin by calling once or twice a day and progress to calling several times a day, following you, and waiting for you outside of classes or work.
Anyone can stalk or be stalked, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ability, or income level. Stalking may involve family members, friends, intimate partners, classmates, coworkers, casual acquaintances, or even total strangers.
Most often, stalkers know their victims. Most female victims and many male victims are stalked by intimate partners. Stalking is most dangerous when it occurs as part of an abusive relationship. An attempt to end an abusive relationship often causes the abuser to become more possessive. Sometimes this leads to stalking.
Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet, email, or other telecommunication technologies to harass, threaten, or intimidate another person. It is an extension of stalking from physical space to cyberspace.
A cyberstalker is someone who methodically, deliberately, and persistently sends unwanted communications that do not stop even after you have requested that he or she end all contact with you. Cyberstalking may take many different forms. A cyberstalker may:
- use the Internet to identify and track you
- send unsolicited email, including hate mail or obscene or threatening messages
- post messages about you or spread rumors about you through newsgroups
- create websites that provide real or false personal information about you
- assume your identity online (i.e., in chat rooms, instant messages, or email) to embarrass you, to pry into your personal life, or for other negative purposes.
If you believe that you are being stalked or for more information, please refer to these resources.
“Draw the Line” poster Campaign for stalking awareness month