Stalking is a course of conduct that involves a broad range of behavior directed at a victim. The conduct can be varied, but involves actions that harass, frighten, threaten and/or force the stalker into the life and consciousness of the victim. Stalking includes both physical and electronic stalking. The term “stalking” means 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.
The components of stalking include both the course of conduct and intensity of the behaviors. Methods of stalking can include, but are not limited to, these methods to intimidate and frighten the object of his/her attentions:
- Persistent phone calls despite being told not to contact in any form
- Waiting at workplace or in neighborhood or around the classes of the victim
- Threats, actual or implied
- Manipulative behavior (for example: threatening to commit suicide in order to get a response to such an “emergency” in the form of contact)
- Sending written messages: letters, emails, and/or graffiti
- Sending gifts from the seemingly “romantic” to the bizarre
- Defamation: lying to others about the victim
- Objectification: demeaning the victim, reducing him/her to an object (which allows the stalker to feel angry with the victim without experiencing empathy)
Limestone University takes stalking very seriously and will vigorously prosecute anyone who is identified as a stalker.