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According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), stalking can cause you to feel fear or emotional distress due to, typically persistent, unwanted attempts to interact with, track, threaten or harass you. Stalking can take place between current, or past, romantic partners, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. It involves non-consensual communication with someone who does not want to be contacted. These behaviors can take place in-person, online or through a mixture of both mediums.
Stalking often involves an escalation of behaviors, as perpetrators try to maintain their power and control over you. This can include threats, or physical actions, made against your safety or the safety of those important to you.
As Sun Devils, we take fundamental responsibility for our community and are accountable for our actions. We can build a thriving community together by treating each other with respect and fostering healthy relationships where everyone feels safe and supported. Here are some ways you can cultivate healthy relationships and contribute to a thriving community where stalking does not exist.
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Reflect on your actions towards others and whether they are wanted. If you get the sense that someone is not interested, do not be persistent.
Respect the boundaries of others by listening. If someone asks you to stop contacting them or stop showing up where they are, stop.
Healthy relationships are based on equality between all partners. Do not make all the decisions in your relationship. All partners should be given the space to make decisions for the relationship and for themselves.
Allow others to have personal space both online and in person. Do not monitor someone’s location or violate their space.
You may feel that you are experiencing stalking yourself or become concerned for a friend or family member. You do not have to wait until the behaviors escalate, it is normal to want to talk to someone to formulate a plan:
No one has to wait to seek support, it is important to trust your instincts and to seek help before things escalate.
Stalking can include, but is not limited to:
As with any form of sexual or relationship violence, if someone experiences stalking, it is not their fault, regardless of whether they practiced safety precautions. Always believe those who are concerned they are experiencing stalking and connect them to resources.
Stalking involves a multitude of unwanted actions that can cause someone to feel emotional distress or fear for their own safety. These behaviors often won't solely take place in-person, but can occur online and/or through electronic devices, such as unwanted…
No matter the format in which the stalking behaviors take place, reporting and seeking supportive services is always an option. There are multiple options at ASU to report stalking or to get support if you aren’t sure if you or a friend are experiencing stalking. Please refer to ASU’s various support services for additional assistance.
Maybe you have been noticing that your friend seems distressed over someone’s persistent attempts to make contact with them. Or your friend seems fearful for their own safety due to the extent in which someone has been harassing them. It can be difficult to know what to do in these situations, but there are ways you can support them:
The words we use have the power to minimize what in actuality is a very serious issue and subsequently cause harm to victims and survivors. Stalking can cause emotional distress or fear for someone’s safety and should be taken seriously. If someone reaches out to you because they’re concerned that they may be experiencing stalking, respond with support.
The words we use have the power to support someone in need or to minimize a serious problem and subsequently cause harm. We can work together to respond with support to victims and survivors and to not only avoid phrases which minimize violence, but to speak up when we hear other’s perpetuating this minimization. Educate your community members on how to respond with support to victims and survivors.