Each year, 3.4 million Americans over the age of 18 are stalked. 3 out of 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. 30% of victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner. 10% are stalked by a stranger. 1 out of 4 victims report being stalked through the use of some form of technology, like email, instant messages, and text messages.
Persons 18-24 years experience the highest rate of stalking.
18-24 years old? That's us college students.
January is National Stalking Awareness Month. So to promote the safety of lovely undergrads, here are some tips if you may be being stalked.
- Always have a phone nearby, with 911 and helpful family/friends on speed dial.
- Treat all threats, direct and indirect, as legitimate. Inform law enforcement immediately!
- Vary your routine. Change routes to work, school, the grocery store, etc.
- Limit the time you spend alone. Try not to travel alone.
- Identify escape routes out of your house, dorm, or apartment.
- Inform your neighbors, landlords, on-site managers, and hall directors about the situation. Provide a photo and description of the stalker. Ask neighbors to call the police if they see the stalker at your place.
- Give a picture of the stalker to security and friends at work and school. Inform your supervisors and coworkers. Tell your professors, friends, and classmates.
- Ask a security guard to walk you to your car or the bus.
- Do not interact with the stalker. Doing so may reinforce their behavior.
- If the stalker contacts you, save any voicemails, text messages, and emails. Also keep letters and gifts the stalker may send. These can all be used as evidence!
- Keep a log of everything that occurs regarding the stalking.
- Make sure your school, workplace, friends, and family know not to give your address or phone number out to anyone!
Stalking is a serious, dangerous crime. Know it. Name it. Stop it.
Check out StalkingAwarenessMonth.org for more information and spread the word!
(Stats and tips in this post from StalkingAwarenessMonth.org.)
Stay safe, lovely undergrads!