Violence Prevention Office

The University of Mississippi

Stalking

Stalking is any willful and repeated action that would cause a reasonable person to feel harassed, frightened or intimidated. While many people believe that stalkers are harmless, and best left alone, stalking is a very serious crime that can, and often does, escalate to physical violence and/or sexual assault.

Stalking can take many forms. Stalkers commonly:

  •     Telephone
  •     Wait outside/inside residence
  •     Watch from afar
  •     Follow
  •     Send letters
  •     Email
  •     Show up uninvited
  •     Send gifts

Most stalkers use multiple means of contact.

You’ll notice that, often, one single incidence of these actions alone would not raise alarm with most people. But when these actions are repeated and the target is made to feel afraid or intimidated, they take on a much more sinister appearance. In addition, they constitute a violation of a person’s privacy and sense of well-being, as well as break the law.

stalking-continuum

(Courtesy of Steve Thompson, Central Michigan University Sexual Aggression Services Coordinator)