The Impact of Stalking
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime (2015), stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking behaviors may include, but are not limited to, showing up at a person’s home or place of work unannounced, unwanted gifts, phone calls, text messages, emails, social media messages, threats, tracking via GPS or other devices and spying.
The persistent nature of the crime of stalking imposes a mental and emotional burden on the victim and can cause lasting effects on a person. According to the Stalking Resource Center, some effects of stalking may include self-blame, post-traumatic stress disorder, anger, isolation, shame, hyper vigilance, embarrassment and depression. College students, particularly women, experience stalking at a higher rate than the general population (Stalking Resource Center). Given the impact that stalking has on a person, it is important that victims are able to access resources, explore reporting options and receive assistance with safety planning.
If you or someone you know is experiencing stalking behaviors, you may contact an advocate with Student Victim Assistance for confidential support, resources and information related to stalking.