February 6, 2018
January was the month for stalking awareness, an issue that affects 7.5 million Americans each year, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.
In 2017, three incidents of stalking were investigated at UCCS, which is consistent to the number or reports investigated in previous years, according to Jamie Duvall, interim Title IX coordinator.
Resources on campus, such as the Office of Institutional Equity and Respect On Campus, offer students the chance to educate themselves on the issue of stalking, national statistics and steps students can take to stay safe in and around their community.
Duvall believes educating students on these matters is critical to ensuring the continued safety for UCCS students and the community.
“National statistics indicate that one in four college students have experienced stalking. It is important for the campus community to be educated on the dangers of stalking,” Duvall says in an email.
“(It is important for them) to know how the to recognize stalking behavior and to know where they can get help if they find themselves in a stalking situation. It is important to know the truths and dispel the myths of stalking.”
Stalking can impact a student’s emotional wellbeing and safety, according to Duvall. Acts of stalking can lead to serious consequences, including violent and criminal acts.
“Stalking creates fear, anger, frustration, anxiety and depression, and erodes the victim’s sense of safety and personal control,” Duvall says. “Stalking is continual and often makes the victim feel like there is no escape.”
A psychological and behavioral profile does not exist for a stalker, so it can be difficult to predict how quickly a stalking scenario can escalate, according to the ROC website. Victims can confront their stalker or let them know how to stop; however, these techniques may not be effective.
“These methods rarely work because stalkers are actually encouraged by any contact with the victim, even negative interactions. Victims of stalking cannot predict what stalkers will do but can determine their own responses to the stalking behavior,” states the ROC site.
For upcoming events and discussions, contact the Respect On Campus offices through their Facebook page or refer to the Office of Institutional Equity for additional information.