Published: Jan. 25, 2018

If you know someone experiencing a pattern of behavior that is causing them to feel fear or alter their everyday activities, there are ways to support them.

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January is National Stalking Awareness Month

Stalking happens in communities across the country, and chances are you know someone who has been stalked. Being someone who takes stalking seriously and is willing to help can make a difference.

Don't ignore it

So, what is stalking? Stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear or alter their everyday activities. Learn more.

People who are being stalked may feel angry, irritated, fearful or embarrassed about their situation. Some may attempt to minimize the unwanted behavior they are experiencing, saying things like, “It’s no big deal,” even though you may have noticed them making behavioral changes such as changing their routine, avoiding certain locations, not going to class/work or asking friends to accompany them places.

How to help

  • Take the situation seriously, and leave out judgement.
  • Ask about, and listen to, what your friend needs to feel safe.
  • Let your friend know what you are noticing and express your concern.
  • Encourage your friend to keep a record of what has been happening.
  • Please note if you have experienced a similar situation, your friend’s reactions and choices may differ, and that is okay.
  • Consider referring your friend to free and confidential advocacy, counseling and support services at CU’s Office of Victim Assistance (OVA). They can be contacted at 303-492-8855 or assist@colorado.edu.
  • Be aware that if you start to feel impacted by your friend’s situation, OVA is here for you, too! Getting support for yourself will allow you to be more available for your friend.

More information on national stalking awareness can be found at the Stalking Resource Center.