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Library Resources for Dean of Students University Initiatives

This guide provides library books and resources that support the University Initiatives of the Dean of Students Office.

STALKING AWARENESS

Stalking is a crime can often leads to more dangerous and violent behavior. It is one of the most misinterpreted crimes in today's culture because media and pop culture "idolize" stalking behavior as romantic behavior.  UNT Dean of Students Office and UNT Libraries seek to educate the student body on recognizing stalking behavior. They participate in spreading awareness during Stalking Awareness Month in January.

The Dean of Students office defines stalking as "engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial." The Counseling and Testing Center includes stalking in their list of domestic violence topics.

STALKING AWARENESS MONTH

What is stalking? 

While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.

Some things stalkers do:

  • Follow you and show up wherever you are.
  • Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails.
  • Damage your home, car, or other property.
  • Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
  • Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
  • Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work.
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
  • Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  • Other actions that control, track, or frighten you.

You are not to blame for a stalker's behavior.

Stalking Victimization

  • 7.5 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.
  • Over 85% of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.
  • 61% of female victims and 44% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
  • 25% of female victims and 32% of male victims of stalking are stalked by an acquaintance.
  • About 1 in 5 of stalking victims are stalked by a stranger.
  • Persons aged 18-24 years experience the highest rate of stalking.
  • 11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more.
  • 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.

If you are being stalked, you may:

  • Feel fear of what the stalker will do.
  • Feel vulnerable, unsafe, and not know who to trust.
  • Feel anxious, irritable, impatient, or on edge.
  • Feel depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, tearful, or angry.
  • Feel stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things.
  • Have eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating.
  • Have flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories.
  • Feel confused, frustrated, or isolated because other people don't understand why you are afraid.

These are common reactions to being stalked.

Stalkers

A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.

  • 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
  • 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
  • Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
  • Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
  • Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.

Want to learn more?

See the Stalking Awareness Fact Sheet.

References:

Matthew J. Breiding et al., “Prevalence and Characteristics of Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization – National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 63, No. 8 (2014): 7. 

Shannan M. Catalano (2012). "Stalking Victims In The United States - Revised," (Washington, DC:BJS, 2012). 

Judith McFarlane et al., "Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide," Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999). 

Kris Mohandie et al., "The RECON Typology of Stalking: Reliability and Validity Based upon a Large Sample of North American Stalkers," Journal of Forensic Sciences 51, no. 1 (2006)

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