Stalking is a federally recognized crime that impacts millions of people every year. On average, University of Michigan police officers receive about 31 inquiries related to stalking behavior each year. The Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) is dedicated to educating the campus community about how to identify and report it.
What is stalking?
According to Michigan law, stalking is defined as “a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened and/or harassed.”
In other words, stalking is any unwanted contact between a stalker and their target that directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear.
Examples of stalking include unwanted:
- Phone calls and/or texts
- Appearances at the home or workplace
- Watching or following
Nearly one in six women and one in 17 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point, so it is important to realize that absolutely anyone can experience stalking in their lifetime. However, individuals ages 18 to 24 experience the highest rate of stalking victimization.
The majority of victims are stalked by someone they know. To learn more about how to establish boundaries and preserve stalking evidence, please visit our safety tips page.
How can you report stalking?
DPSS takes all reports seriously. If you or someone you know is being stalked, seek help as soon as possible by contacting DPSS at (734) 763-1131 or dial 911 in an emergency. After making a report, you will be connected with the UMPD Special Victims Unit, which specializes in interpersonal violence incidents and helps guide the person reporting throughout the process.
Additional stalking resources:
DPSS regularly provides safety presentations to students, faculty, and staff on issues concerning safety and wellbeing free of charge. If you are interested in educating your department or student group on stalking safety tips and available resources, contact DPSS Community Outreach at (734) 763-3434, email, or fill out the online request form to request a safety presentation.