SAFE T-BIRDS: Say NO to Stalking

KNOW the Facts
Approximately 3.4 million people in the United States are victims of stalking each year. The primary target is young adults between the ages of 18-24 years old. Most victims know their stalker. About 1 in 4 victims experienced some form of cyberstalking. Stalking creates uncertainty, instills fear and can completely disrupt lives. Refer to the National Institute of Justice for a legal definition and information concerning stalking.

Stalking Involves

* Repeated undesired contact such as phone calls, emails, letters, show up unexpectedly, etc.
* Following or laying in wait for the individual.
* Making threats to the individual or their family.
* Any harassing or threatening behavior used to contact, track, or place fear in the individual.
* Cyberstalking includes threatening behavior to create unwanted advances using the Internet and other forms of online and computer communications. Some forms of cyber stalking can include harassment using threatening or obscene emails, live chat, texting, hacking or monitoring a victim's computer and online activity.

Who is a Stalker?

* A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most stalkers have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.
* Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.
* Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
* 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
* 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
* Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.

Know You Are Being Stalked
If you experience any of the following unwanted or harassing contacts on more than one occasion during the past year that made you feel annoyed, fearful, anxious or concerned, you may be a victim of stalking.

* Receiving unwanted phone calls.
* Sending unsolicited or unwanted letters or e-mails
* Having a sense of being followed more than once by someone.
* Having someone show up at places without a legitimate reasons or waiting for you.
* Finding unwanted items, presents, or flowers.
* Finding that your property has vandalized or damaged.
* Receiving threats directed at you or someone close to you.
* Finding posted information or rumors about yourself on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.

Decide NO and Take Action NOW
You have a right to be safe. It is not your fault if someone is stalking you. You should consider taking the following actions.
* Avoiding all contact with the stalker.
* Vary your routines including changing driving routes, places frequented.
* Limit time alone and try not to travel alone.
* Informing family, friends, supervisors, co-workers of what is going on.
* Keeping documentation such as a journal or log of all incidents connected to the stalking.
* All evidence received from the stalker such as letters, packages, taped telephone messages should be kept in a safe place.
* Have a safety plan including escape routes and codes to call help at work, school and home for your family, friends, and children.
* Change your patterns and routes depending on where and when you travel.
* Consider requesting a restraining order issued from the court.
* Communicate to your close friends, family, and co-workers so that they are also aware and can report any unusual activity.

Be an Active Bystander if You Suspect Someone is Being Stalked
* Listen and show support for the victim.
* Have the victim keep you and their close acquaintances informed about their travel, schedule and other information so that they can be located at all times.
* Ask others to include the victim in activities so that it will eliminate them being alone.
* Encourage the victim to ask you or someone they trust to join them if they will be out alone.
* Safely intervene to point by telling authorities of your concern.
* Encourage the victim to have a phone at all times and include speed dial numbers on their phone.
* Help the victim create a safety plan,
* Help the victim locate a safe place if in imminent danger.

     * police stations
     * residences of family or friends, especially if unknown to the perpetrators
     * domestic violence shelters
     * place of worship
     * public areas

Information is from The National Center for Victims of Crime website.

The SAFE T-BIRDS program is Cloud County Community College's prevention and education efforts to help stop relationship violence in support of title IX, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, the SaVE Act and Clery Act.