Stalking & Cyberstalking Support
What is Stalking?
Stalking is a willful course of conduct that will cause a person to be afraid or intimidated.
The Nebraska State Definition of stalking is:
Any person who willfully harasses another person or a family or household member of such person with the intent to injure, terrify, threaten, or intimidate commits the offense of stalking.
What is Cyberstalking?
Cyberstalking can be a variety of behaviors that involve repeated threats and/or harassment through email or other computer-based communication that will cause a person to be afraid, intimidated, or concerned for his or her safety.
If you are being stalked, you may feel or experience:
- fear of what the stalker will do.
- vulnerable, unsafe, and not know who to trust, anxious, irritable, impatient, or on edge, depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, tearful, or angry.
- stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things.
- eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating.
- flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories.
- confused, frustrated, or isolated because other people don't understand why you are afraid.
What Can You Do to Address Stalking?
- Seek confidential advocacy support and advisement from a certified Advocate at the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center
- If you have not already done so, assertively communicate that you want the behavior to stop and set and maintain personal boundaries.
- Try not to allow yourself to be isolated with the person.
- Seek Counseling from one of UNO’s counselors for support
- Let someone know, like friends, family, your Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards (Trent Fredricksen), the Interim Title IX Coordinator (Sarah Weil), or Public Safety, and seek their support.
- Keep a log of all stalking behaviors including e-mails, text, and phone messages. Also, keep any letters or gifts you have received. Log any other items or instances that can be used for evidence.
- Inform Public Safety, the Omaha Police Department, or your nearest police department. Only law enforcement officials should confront the stalker, not friends, or family members.
- File an online report with UNO.
- Consider applying for an Order of Protection, but evaluate the pros and cons of doing so first.
- If you feel you are unsafe, you probably are and should seek help. Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship. Don’t confront a stalker. Go to a safe space and call the police.
What you Can Do to Address Cyber Stalking?
- Do not share personal information in online public places.
- Create separate email accounts for chat room use.
- Save all copies of communication from a cyber stalker.
- Send a clear, assertive message to a cyberstalker stating that you do not want further communication and will contact authorities if messages continue.
- Use filters and other security measures to block unwanted emails.
- It is strongly recommended that you do not meet people in person that you met on the Internet.
The most common ways offenders stalk is by unwanted phone calls, voicemails, text messages, spying, sending unwanted gifts, letters and emails, and showing up uninvited to or waiting at the victim’s location.
Eighteen- to 24 year-olds have the highest rate of stalking victimization. The rates of stalking on college campuses are higher than in the general population which is similar to the rates of sexual assault.