January is dedicated to raising awareness of stalking and understanding what we can do to recognize and combat this serious issue.

Stalking is conduct on the basis of sex directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Read the Interim Policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Non-Discrimination.

Stalking behaviors can include unwanted contact (repeated calls, texts, or emails), physically following someone, sending unwanted gifts or letters, tracking someone via GPS, looking up personal information about someone online, threatening to post personal/intimate details about someone online, or waiting for someone outside their home, workplace, or school. Many victims know the person stalking them; in fact, 61% of women and 44% of men said the person who stalked them was a current or former intimate partner. Understanding Stalking is an informational brochure sponsored by the Stalking Prevention, Awareness and Resource Center that provides more information on stalking behaviors and national resources.

With pop culture phenomena like Netflix’s You, people are becoming more open to talking about the very real, very serious issue of stalking. The main character of the show, Joe, demonstrates classic examples of stalking by hacking into his victims’ phones, following them home or out in public, and sneaking into people’s homes and taking personal items like underwear (just to name a few). There are plenty of other warning signs of stalking than those demonstrated on the show, but You works to create a dialogue about stalking among its audience and make the problem more visible and recognizable in real life.

By raising awareness and educating others about this topic, we can do our part to help combat stalking. If you or someone you know would like more information on resources and support, read the Title IX Resource Guide.

Amanda Hanincik, director of educational equity/Title IX coordinator

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