What is Stalking?
Stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. It is never a joke; it is a serious crime.
According to the Illinois law, stalking is a course of conduct directed against another person that they know (or should know) will cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety (or safety of a third party) or cause a victim emotional distress.
According to Loyola's Community Standards, stalking is a serious offense, and is expressly prohibited. Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Examples of stalking behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- non-consensual communication, including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, emails, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired
- use of online, electronic, or digital technologies, including: posting of pictures online, sending unwanted/unsolicited email or chat requests, posting private or public messages on social media sites, installing spyware on someone’s computer, and using GPS to monitor a person
- pursuing or following someone or waiting uninvited near place where a person frequents
- surveillance or other types of unreasonable observation, including staring or peeping
- trespassing or vandalism
- gathering information about an individual from friends, family, or co-workers
- threatening harm to self or others
Appropriate sanctions may include: Residence Hall or University Suspension and Expulsion.
Although stalking may occur for a variety of reasons, it is usually investigated as a gender-based offense. For more information about how allegations of stalking are handled, see §409 Gender-Based Misconduct and Title IX.
Stalkers can be strangers, acquaintances, even current or former dating partners. Many stalkers know their victims and use many different tactics to stalk. The National Stalking Resource Center includes the following as forms of stalking:
Repeated phone calls (including hang ups)
Following you or showing up where you are
Unwanted cards, letters, gifts, emails, text messages, Facebook messages, etc.
Surveillance such as: monitoring phone calls, computer usage, tracking you with GPS or hidden cameras
Threats to hurt you, family, friends or pets
Anything else that frightens, threatens or controls you
How Common is Stalking?
Each year thousands of people are stalked on college campuses across the country. Stalking is more common than many people think.
- 25% of stalking incidents among college age women involve cyberstalking
- 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week. 2
- 3 in 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. 2
- 30% of stalking victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner. 2
Stalkers can be very dangerous and should be taken seriously. If you believe you are being stalked, on-campus support is available to assist you make a safety plan, help you cope with emotional stress, and connect you to resources on and off campus.
1 National Stalking Resource Center, 1997
2 Katrina Baum et al., (2009). "Stalking Victimization in the United States," (Washington, DC: BJS, 2009)