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Stalking, including cyberstalking, is prohibited at Curry College. As a community, we must strive to prevent and respond to stalking, because these incidents affect all members of our community. These incidents can happen to anyone, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or any other identity.  These incidents harm not only the person who experiences them, but also friends, family, and other community members.

This section of our website provides information on definitions and stalking behaviors, options including safety planning, and why this issue is important at Curry College.

Other areas of this website address resources (including confidential resources), sexual harassment/assault, intimate partner violence, and reporting incidents. While this webspace offers specialized information and resources on these behaviors, we know, that sexual harassment/assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking often occur together.  Because all of these behaviors may occur within one relationship, we encourage you to browse the website thoroughly and use whatever resources and information seem most appropriate to a particular situation.   

Anyone with questions about these issues is encouraged to contact the confidential resources, or Curry College's Title IX Coordinator, found here.

The definitions provided here reflect those in the Curry College Student Handbook.  Different definitions may apply for law enforcement purposes, in different jurisdictions, and at other colleges and universities.

At Curry College, stalking is noted under the "Abusive Behavior" policy, as well as having its own definition.  Stalking is also listed as a form of intimate partner violence.

Abusive Behavior

Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, coercion, stalking and/or other conduct, which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person, including one's self is prohibited. Conduct to others or oneself that is disruptive and/or interfering with other educational rights and pursuits is prohibited.

Stalking

Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person, whether that person is a total stranger, acquaintance, current or former intimate partner, or anyone else that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her or his safety, for the safety of a third person, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Such behavior is prohibited.

Stalking behaviors include, but are not limited to, repeatedly pursuing, following, waiting, or appearing uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other places frequented by the person, surveillance or other types of observation, including, but not limited to, staring or watching an individual without their consent (which may be referred to as "peeping") and repeated unwanted communication, including, but not limited to, face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, e-mails, text messages, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are not welcomed by the recipient of the communication. 

Stalking is conduct directed at a specific person when that conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety, the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.  Many people are stalked by someone they know, although strangers can also commit stalking.

The following behaviors are examples of stalking*:

  • Appearing at your school, work, or home unannounced and uninvited. They might also call your boss, professor, or family and friends.
  • Sending unwanted calls, texts, or emails.  This might include calling and hanging up.
  • Giving unwanted gifts.
  • Spreading rumors about you online or in person.
  • Using social media or other people to gather information about you, monitor you, and monitor your location.
  • Damaging your home, car, or other property.

If you are experiencing any of these behaviors, gathering evidence now may be helpful if you want to report later.  You may want to learn about reporting stalking to Curry College or to law enforcement

If you or someone you know is being stalked, it can be frightening. People who are experiencing stalking often struggle with the best way to respond.  It's important to note that stalkers are usually encouraged by any contact with the people they are stalking and that behaviors can escalate very quickly. What may initially seem annoying can become frightening and dangerous. For this reason, it's important to take stalking behaviors seriously.

Remember, you cannot control a stalker, and you are not responsible for their behavior. Stalking is not the fault of the person being stalked, nor is the person being stalked responsible for making it stop.  Those responsibilities lie with the person who is stalking another person.  Those experiencing stalking can, however, choose to take some steps to increase their safety and well-being and may want to do so. 

You can take these steps* to help improve your safety 
and the safety of those around you.

  • Develop a detailed stalking safety plan, working with a victim advocate. Include emergency phone numbers and safe places to stay other than your home. Your plan should also incorporate the tips below. Consider contacting confidential resources and a victim advocate who can help you develop a detailed plan.  
  • Rely on people you trust to reduce the impact stalking has on you. For example, can someone check your mail and help sort out mail from the stalker?  Can someone else help you gather and maintain evidence in case you decide you want to report the stalking? Using trusted people in the roles will help you and keep you connected to important people.
  • Maintain a log of all interactions with or from the stalker. This will be helpful if you want to pursue a report to Curry College and/or to law enforcement.
  • Try to keep a phone nearby at all times, ideally one to which the stalker does not have access.
  • Treat all threats as serious and contact law enforcement.
  • Try to vary your routines so that your activities are not predictable.
  • Try to minimize time you are alone.
  • Get a new and unlisted phone number.  Leave the old number active and connected to voicemail for the purpose of gathering evidence.
  • Do not interact with your stalker. This generally encourages stalkers to continue.
  • Considering getting a legal protective order.
  • Inform neighbors, friends, and family about the situation and show them a picture of your stalker. Ask them to report to the police if this person appears.
  • Make sure that schools, businesses, and offices do not provide your contact information to anyone.
  • If you have children or others who depend on you, be sure they know when and how to leave an unsafe situation and a safe person to contact.

*Adapted from the Stalking Resource Center and WomensLaw.org

More and more, people are starting relationships online or communicating online in their current relationship. Social media and other online communication are great tools, but they can also make it easier to stalk or abuse someone, including a partner. 

This page provides information about increasing safety for yourself and your friends in online interactions.  

Online abuse and stalking is not the fault of the person receiving the abuse, nor is the person being abused responsible for making it stop.  Those responsibilities lie with the person who stalks or causes other harm.  Those receiving abuse can, however, choose to take some steps to increase their safety and well-being and may want to do so. 

Increasing Your Own Safety*

  • Keep your passwords private. Do not share them with your partner or anyone else.
  • Think carefully about what you post, and talk to your friends about what you want them to post and keep private. Avoid posting your email address, phone number, address, or schedule. These are all keys for people who want to track you.
  • If you want to post about an event you attend, wait a couple of days. This will make it harder for someone to show up where you are when you don't want them to do so.
  • Check your privacy settings to be sure that you are comfortable with the settings. Here is information on how to do that from the following social media sites: Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter.
  • Turn off all requests for "access to your location."  People can use this to determine where you are.
  • Don't respond to abuse online, but do report it. All social media providers allow you to report harassment online.
  • Keep a record (including screen shots) of any online abuse. Read more about gathering evidence.
  • If your partner is abusive and has access to your devices, learn more about browsing safely to minimize what your partner sees.
  • Especially if you are leaving an abusive relationship, consider deactivating your account or doing a "super log-off" (deactivating your account when you are not actively on it). This will mean people cannot post about you during this time.
  • If you are meeting in-person with someone you met online, pick a public place to meet, tell a friend or family member about your plans, make a plan for how you'll get home safely, and hold off on revealing personal information. You can also look up the person online and verify information they've shared.

Helping  Friends Stay Safe†

  • Always ask for permission before you post about someone else or tag them. If you don't have permission, don't post it.
  • Especially do not post someone else's location. If you want to post about an event you attended together, wait until the event has been over for a day or more.
  • Respect any limits that your friend wants to set on their social media use or connections.
  • Ask your friend if they would like you to save texts or emails they have sent about their relationship.

*Adapted from RAINN.orgLoveIsRespect.org 
†Adapted from LoveIsRespect.org

In addition to safety planning about how you communicate online, there are two basic fundamental issues to consider with browsing online.  The first is privacy and the second is security.  Privacy is about reducing the amount of information stored about your browsing history.  Security is about how your information is shared with others.

Online abuse and stalking is not the fault of the person receiving the abuse, nor is the person being abused responsible for making it stop.  Those responsibilities lie with the person who stalks or causes other harm.  Those receiving abuse can, however, choose to take some steps to increase their safety and well-being and may want to do so.  

The following steps can help increase your privacy online*:

  • Most web browsers have a mode that will reduce or eliminate the amount of data stored about your browsing history.  Read more about how to do this when using Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.
  • Clearing your cache, history, and cookies in your browser is another way to reduce the amount of data stored.  If you suspect someone is actively monitoring your data, however, it's important to know that doing this may signal to them that you are aware of their monitoring.  This is a good point to discuss with a confidential resource while you make a safety plan.  Read more about how to do this when using Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.
  • If you believe someone is inappropriately accessing your data, consider using another device until the issue can be resolved.  It may be inconvenient and unfair, but it can also be a good way to manage your safety for a period of time.

The following steps can help increase your security online*:

  • Use secure, encrypted sites that begin with https://.  If the site begins with only http://, be very cautious about what information you provide to that site.
  • Choose email and other services that encrypt data when you send it or encrypt the data yourself.
  • Especially if share a device with someone else, review what sync settings are in place. It's possible that your private phone is syncing to a laptop you share with your partner.

*Adapted from RAINN.org

Whether a relations begins in person or online, it's also important to think about safety when you meet someone in person at the beginning of a relationship.  The following steps can help increase the safety of meeting someone in-person for the first time, especially if the interaction began online.  While these steps can increase safety, it's important to remember that if someone doesn't respect your boundaries or harms you in any way, that is not your fault.

  • Pick a public place to meet. Do not share your home address, and don't meet this new person in a private home. Get to know them first.
  • Research the person ahead of time. Do an internet search on them to check if what they have told you about themselves matches with what you can find online. Go an extra step and look them up in the National Sex Offender Public Website.
  • Have a plan for how you'll leave that is not dependent upon your new acquaintance. Drive your own car, be ready to call a taxi, or take public transportation.
  • Tell a friend about your plans and make arrangements to check in with them after your meet-up is over.
  • Don't reveal personal information to your new acquaintance. Don't share things like your address or financial information this early on in the relationship.
  • Trust your instincts. Don't feel pressured to give someone a second chance if they're making you uncomfortable.
  • Be extra cautious about traveling long distance. If you're in an unfamiliar place or city, it will be more challenging to access resources. Consider getting to know the person better and learn about resources in the place to which you might travel.

Learn more about signs of a healthy relationship.

If you're concerned about your relationship or someone else's, you can contact Confidential Resources, found here.

With all the exciting and wonderful opportunities at Curry College, people might ask why we focus on sexual misconduct, including stalking.  For all colleges and universities, this is an important issue.  Here are a few of the reasons why it's important to us at Curry College:

  • Comprehensive national data indicates that since beginning their undergraduate career, 4.2% of college students have experienced stalking behaviors.  This includes 12.1% of gender non-conforming students and 6.7% of female students*.
  • Of forms of sexual misconduct, national data* indicate that stalking is the most often reported, but still only 28% of students who experience stalking behaviors indicate they reported it. 
  • Victim-survivors of stalking experience fear, anxiety, sleep troubles, and other health problems**. We want Curry College to be a community where everyone experiences their best chance for success.
  • Stalking can take many forms and often happens in the context of an intimate partner relationship or former relationship.  Stalking often begins at a relatively low level and escalates over time, which is why it is important for everyone in our community to take all stalking behaviors seriously, even if what is happening at the moment mostly harmless.
  • The federal law Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and gender for all schools receiving federal funding, which includes Curry College.  This means we are obligated to prevent and respond to stalking incidents, which can negatively impact access to education based on sex and gender.

Anyone with questions about these issues is encouraged to contact confidential resources or Curry College's Title IX Coordinator, found here.

*This data is drawn from the 2015 AAU Campus Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct.
**This data is drawn from the National Institute for Justice.

Download the Stalking/Intimate Partner Violence Incident log, here... 

If you decide to report incidents in the future, having the log will be helpful.