Women’s Center Department of Counseling
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 237-8184
Fax: (212) 484-1319
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1. What is stalking?
The Department of Justice defines stalking as a pattern of repeated threatening or harassing behaviors that directly or indirectly communicate a threat, or place the victim in fear. Stalkers can be of any gender, sexuality, race, age and ability. They can be strangers, or former dating partners, relatives, acquaintances, siblings, former friends or teachers. The most publicized stalking cases are those involving celebrities, but stalking can happen to anyone.
2. How do I know if I am being stalked?
- Following/spying on you
- Calling your home and/or work repeatedly
- Sending you unprovoked and unwanted e-mails, letters, faxes, and/or texts
- Leaving you unwanted gifts
- Vandalizing or damaging your property
- Threatening your health or safety, the safety of someone close to you, or that of a pet or animal companion
- Repeatedly showing up somewhere where you are, with no legitimate purpose for being there
If so, you may be being stalked.
3. What can I do if I’m being stalked?
- File police reports for all abuse and stalking incidents.
- Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the stalker.
- Stalking experts warn against changing your phone number. This action could escalate the stalker. Save any messages from the stalker for the police. You do not have to listen to them.
- Avoid walking alone. If you can’t avoid walking alone, call friends and family as you are walking.
- Plan how to get away if confronted by the stalker.
- Vary your routine. Walk different ways to and from the train, leave at different times, etc.
- Get an Order of Protection. Even if the stalker is not an ex-partner, you can still file contacts with the police and get an Order of Protection. This will allow you to have the stalker arrested if they come near you, call, text or email.
- Notify school and work contacts and respective security offices. Whether or not you have an order of protection, it’s important to go to Security to give them information. Security website
4. How can I help a friend who’s being stalked?
- Listen. Avoid making judgments and giving advice.
- Take the situation seriously. If you are concerned about a friend’s safety, tell her/him so. Offer to help to contact the local police precinct or call 911.
- Connect her/him with other resources. Encourage your friend to stop by the Women’s Center, or help her/him to contact local authorities to report the stalker. You can also contact an agency like Safe Horizon to find other supportive services like counseling.
6. Go to our resource page for more services.
KNOW THAT THESE TIPS ARE NO GUARANTEE OF YOUR SAFETY and should not be used as a substitute for reaching out to a trained service provider or the police.
Come to the Women’s Center or contact one of the resources listed on our resource page for more comprehensive services.