Sometimes it can be hard to know where to draw the line between annoying, clingy interactions and stalking. Shows and movies can make it seem like persistence is the key to winning someone over. However, persistence can quickly turn into discomfort or fear when it’s unwelcome. Here are a few things that you may not know about stalking:
#1 Stalking can take many forms
Stalking goes beyond following someone. It can include a variety of tactics, which can take place in person or online. Stalking is defined as a pattern of unwanted behavior, directed at a specific person, which causes that person to change their routine or feel afraid, nervous or in danger.
Examples of stalking behaviors:
#2 Stalking can happen to anyone
While stalking often is directed at someone from a previous or current intimate relationship, it can also occur between former friends, roommates, classmates or someone the person has occasionally or never met before, including matches from dating apps. Here are some ways to identify when it’s time to seek help or support:
#3 Stalking is a serious criminal offense
Stalking behaviors by themselves may or may not be illegal. However, context of the behaviors and the impact they have on the other person are key. Stalking violates CU’s campus policies and is considered a serious crime in Colorado. CU Boulder provides a number of reporting and support options for those affected by stalking.
Students, staff and faculty can get confidential support through the Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) by calling 303-492-8855 or filling out a confidential request form online. This form will only be reviewed by OVA staff – the university will not be notified and no investigative action will take place. If you would like to get in touch with an OVA advocate counselor regarding your form, be sure to include contact information you feel safe being contacted on. OVA advocate counselors can provide additional support to help individuals explore their rights and options, make a safety plan, get medical treatment if needed, discuss their living situation and more. They also have a free e-Ask an Advocate program that allows you to meet confidentially and briefly with an advocate counselor for additional information, support and consultation.
Law enforcement reporting
Reporting to the police can take many forms and doesn’t have to lead to filing of criminal charges. An informational or anonymous report is sometimes an option to make the police aware of the situation. Individuals can also sometimes ask police to contact the person to give a verbal warning or press criminal charges.
CU Boulder reporting
If you have experienced stalking by a CU Boulder student, staff or faculty member, you can report the incident to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC). OIEC can address concerns through a formal grievance process or through a policy compliance meeting. Additionally, OIEC may be able to provide safety and supportive measures, such as no contact orders, academic remediation and more. You can file a report with OIEC by calling 303-492-2127 or fill out a report online.