National Stalking Awareness Month
January is National Stalking Awareness Month. In order to shed some light on this issue that is often downplayed or under-reported, we will provide some information on what stalking might look like and what resources are available to Georgia State University students experiencing this type of harassment.
What is considered stalking?
A stalker may be a stranger, coworker, fellow student, an ex, or even a current partner who is over-stepping your boundaries. Georgia State University’s code of conduct defines stalking as follows:
Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with person’s property.
In real time, this may look like:
- Sending you unwanted text messages, letters, emails and voicemails.
- Leaving unwanted items, gifts or flowers.
- Constantly calling you and hanging up.
- Using social networking sites and technology to track you.
- Spreading rumors about you via the internet or word of mouth.
- Calling your employer or professor.
- Waiting at places you hang out.
- Using other people as resources to investigate your life. For example, looking at your social media accounts through someone else’s page or befriending your friends in order to get more information about you.
- Damaging your home, car or other property.
- …or many other types of unwanted behaviors.
What can Student Victim Assistance do for victims of stalking?
- Create a safety plan with students.
- Assist in applying for a Temporary Protective Order (restraining order).
- Help students decide whether they would like to report to the University or police.
- Assist facilitating changes in class schedule or housing if necessary.
- Connect students with University or community resources that may be of assistance.
- Assist student in starting a stalking incident log. (Example at org)
If you are facing immediate danger, call 911. Georgia State University Police can be reached by dialing 404-413-3333. For non-emergency assistance, call Student Victim Assistance at 404-413-1965 and press 2 to speak with an on-call advocate. Student Victim Assistance staff will follow up on the following business day.