January marks National Stalking Awareness Month, and the Division of Public Safety & Security seeks to educate the campus community about how to identify and report it.
Stalking is a crime.
Stalking is a serious crime that affects millions every year. It can be difficult to recognize, investigate and prosecute. Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime, but a pattern of conduct directed at someone that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
One in four women and one in 13 men will be victims of stalking in their lifetime. Although women are more likely to be stalked than men, anyone can be a victim of stalking. The rates of stalking among college students are higher than the general public. Stalking can affect a victim’s emotional, physical and economic well-being.
We’re here to help
University police officers field approximately 25 inquiries related to stalking behavior each year affecting our students, faculty and staff. Some stalking behaviors include: repeated and unwanted contact by phone, text or social media; following a person or showing up unexpectedly at locations; or leaving gifts for their target. These types of behaviors are unacceptable and illegal and should be taken seriously and reported.
“If you or someone you know is living in fear of someone else, we ask that you give us a call,” said U-M Police Chief Robert Neumann. “We can help in ways such as safety planning, warning stalkers to discontinue contact, pursuing criminal charges, providing assistance in obtaining personal protection orders and enforcing those orders.”
If you or someone you know is being stalked, seek help as soon as possible by contacting DPSS at 734-763-1131 or 911 in an emergency.
The Division takes all reports seriously and completes full investigations by our highly trained and skilled officers, who are on-duty 24 hours a day.
For more information on stalking here are some resources:
Tips to Remember:
- Take stalking seriously. Report it immediately.
- Be mindful of where your personal information may be publicly available. Consider removing or shielding your private information on social media sites and the U-M online directory.
- Disengage from the person. Do not meet, respond to or contact your stalker in any way, including through other people.
- Let others know about the stalking behavior – tell friends, family, co-workers.
- Document all contact or stalking activity in a log. Record the date, time, location and details on what happened, including a description of the incident and any witnesses.
- Preserve all evidence of activity such as emails, text or screenshots.