What is stalking?
Stalking is harassing or threatening another person to the point where that individual fears for his/her safety or the safety of his/her family. Stalking can occur in various forms including, but not limited to, in person and via electronic means (cyberstalking/cyberbullying).
Stalking means to follow, pursue, or repeatedly commit acts with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person; and to place under surveillance with the intent to kill, injure, harass or intimidate another person; and in the course of, or as a result of, such following, pursuit, surveillance or repeatedly committed acts, to place a person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, or to cause substantial emotional harm to—that person; a member of the immediate family of that person; or the spouse or intimate partner of that person.
Not all situations involving stalking behaviors qualify as criminal stalking. You can still get help even if what you are experiencing is not criminal stalking. Contact the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-3898 to talk about your options.
The use of technology in stalking
Stalkers often use social media and location software to pursue victims. For example, Facebook and Twitter, or more sophisticated keystroke-logging programs that stalkers install on victims’ phones and computers without their knowledge, allow stalkers to pursue others with even more precision.
Browsing the web safely and privately is a concern for many people. A good general rule to remember is that nothing online is private. Also, you can’t be completely anonymous online. However, you can take steps to prevent sensitive and personal information from making its rounds on the Internet.
- The Stalking Resource Center outlines ways that stalkers use technology and offers tips for victims who believe their stalker is using technology to stalk them.
- The National Network To End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) offers online safety measures.
What to do if you are experiencing stalking
If you or someone you know has experienced stalking, please know that assistance is available. APU encourages all community members to seek help and report incidents of stalking.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, call the police or the Department of Campus Safety.
- Consider taking out a no-contact order. Talk with the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-3898 about your criminal and civil options
- Cut off all communication with the stalker. Screen your calls. If the stalker knows your phone number, consider changing your number, blocking the person’s phone number, or using a pre-paid cell phone with no contracts or billing.
- Vary routines, including changing routes to work, university, and other places you regularly frequent.
- Call the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-3898 when you are on campus to escort you to your car, building, or residence hall.
- Make sure your personal information is marked confidential with the university.
- Adjust the privacy settings on social networking sites, or consider deleting your profiles altogether.
- Do not attempt to deal with the situation alone. Tell friends, neighbors, roommates, professors, co-workers, Resident Advisors, and other people you trust about the situation.
- Treat all threats, direct and indirect, as legitimate and inform law enforcement or Campus Safety immediately.
- If in imminent danger, locate a safe place such as a police station, shelter, or populated public area.
- Abusers will often isolate their victims. Share what’s happening with a trusted friend or reach out to friends and family you may have not connected with in a while. It is important to have a good support system.
- Talk with a counselor who is trained to assist you with the emotional impact of relationship violence. You can contact the University Counseling Center at (626) 815-2109 .
- To assist you in accessing resources and understanding reporting options, contact the Title IX Coordinator or any of the Title IX Deputy Coordinators.
- Azusa Pacific encourages you to contact local police if you have experienced any act of stalking off campus, or contact the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-3898 if the act occurred on campus.
- If you are or have been a victim stalking by a student, consider making a report to the Title IX Coordinator at (626) 815-2067. Stalking violates the Sexual Harassment, Stalking, and Sexual Violence Policy. Learn more about the process and your rights and responsibilities in that process.
- If you are, or have been, a victim of stalking by a professor, staff person, or other employee of the university, consider making a report to the Title IX Coordinator at (626) 815-2067 or to Human Resources at (626) 815-4526.