Know Your Rights: Stalking

Courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee from freedigitalphotos.com
Courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee from freedigitalphotos.com

While sexual assault has received national attention, stalking also remains a problem.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men will experience stalking victimization at some point of their lives.

The Michigan government has created a brochure available online to inform people about stalking. Here are some takeaways.

This is Michigan’s legal definition of stalking.

“…a ‘willful course of conduct’ involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.”

In other words, if someone has contacted you at least twice and it’s unwanted , it’s probably considered stalking.

These are some examples of stalking behavior.

• Following or appearing within the sight of the person being stalked.
• Approaching or confronting someone without his or her consent.
• Appearing at someone’s workplace or residence without their consent.
• Entering or remaining on property occupied by the person being stalked.
• Contacting the victim by any means.

 

 If you feel like someone is stalking you, take it seriously. Research from George Washington University shows stalking can affect victims’ lives in many ways including medical, physical, social life, finances and work/school performance.

What can you do if you are a victim of stalking?

Report it to your local police agency. Local police agencies in Mount Pleasant include the CMU Police Department, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Isabella Sheriff Department, Michigan State Police and Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police.
If you are a CMU student or staff member, you can report it to the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity.
You can also contact Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates or the Counseling Center.

More “Know Your Rights” posts. 

“Know Your Rights: When Partying Goes Wrong”

“Know Your Rights: Apartment Living”

Arielle Hines is the editor of CMU Insider. You can contact her at hines1as@cmich.edu. 

This is not intended to serve as official legal advice. Please contact an attorney if you need legal assistance. 


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