University of Minnesota
http://www.umn.edu/
612-625-5000

Student Mental Health

Twin Cities Campus

Disability Issues

Identifying the Problem

Stalking may be best defined as unwanted pursuit. Students have been known to stalk staff or faculty, sometimes without the victim recognizing it as stalking. Stalking can reflect many different behaviors including:

  • Following or surveillance
  • Inappropriate approaches and confrontations
  • Appearing at a place of work or residence
  • Unwanted telephone calls
  • Unwanted letters
  • Unwanted email
  • Unwanted or threatening gifts
  • Threats
  • Threats to family and friends
  • Damage to property
  • Physical assault
  • Sexual assault

How to Respond:

  1. Get advice from a University or other resource below.
  2. Tell the stalker "no" in regards to the unwanted behavior once and only once. Do not give him or her the satisfaction of a reaction again. The more you respond, the more you teach him or her that his actions will elicit a response.
  3. Do not respond to email (a "returned unread" email is a response).
  4. Document everything. Keep tapes from answering machines, letters, gifts, etc. Keep a log of any suspicious occurrences. This documentation will increase your ability to take disciplinary or legal action if necessary.
  5. Depending on the extent of these behaviors certain actions may be necessary. (Additional advice to be found at http://www.antistalking.com/)
    Consider a restraining order (see below).
  6. Remove your home address and phone number from the campus directory.
  7. List your main department phone number as your office number.
  8. If the stalker has your home number, don't change it. Instead, always let an answering machine pick-up. Get a new unlisted number.
  9. If a stalker is visiting your home, one of the best actions is to get a dog.
  10. Install solid core doors and deadlocks. Secure windows. Add outside lighting. Consider investing in a security system.
  11. Don't accept packages unless they are personally ordered.
  12. Alter your parking spot. Try not to let the stalker know where you park.
  13. Equip your gas tank with a locking gas cap that can be unlocked only from inside the car.
  14. Request the University police to pick you up at your office and drive you to your car.
  15. Never be afraid to sound your car horn to attract attention.
  16. Vary your route home and to work.
  17. If you think you are being followed while in your car, make four left- or right-hand turns in succession. If the car continues to follow you, drive to the nearest police station, never home or to a friend's house.
  18. Destroy discarded mail.
  19. Keep a cell phone with you at all times, even inside your home. (Note: a cell phone that does not have service can still dial 911)

Restraining Orders

Many stalking victims are routinely told to get restraining orders. Unfortunately, a restraining order is no guarantee that the stalker will stop or that the police will be able to intervene. Some stalkers such as former intimate-partner stalkers who are very invested in the relationship and stalkers suffering from delusional thinking are unlikely to respect restraining orders. Sometimes a restraining order can worsen the situation. Discuss the Pros and Cons of restraining orders with one of the resources below before seeking one. Stalking is a misdemeanor in Minnesota (unless stalking occurs across state lines in which case it is a felony).

University Resources:

For Advice:

  1. The Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education
    117 Appleby Hall
    Phone: 612-626-2929 (24 hour crisis line: 612-626-9111)
    http://www1.umn.edu/aurora/
  2. Student Counseling Services
    340 Appleby Hall
    Phone: 612-624-3323
    http://www.ucs.umn.edu/
  3. If the student is a known patient at Boynton Mental Health Services call:
    Boynton Mental Health, Urgent Counselor: 612-625-8475.

    Although the Boynton personnel would not be able to provide information regarding the patient to you without a release, they are able to listen to any information that you wish to provide. However, be aware that in most cases, the source of this information may need to be shared with the patient for any meaningful intervention to occur.

  4. Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
    419 Morrill
    100 Church St. S.E.
    Minneapolis, MN 55455
    Phone: 612-624-9547
    http://www.eoaffact.umn.edu/

    To consult about and/or report possible discrimination or systemic barriers to equal access.

For Reporting:

  1. University Student Judicial Affairs, Sharon Dick.
    Phone: 612-624-6073 http://www.sja.umn.edu/
     
  2. University of Minnesota Police Department
    511 Washington Ave SE 100 Transportation and Safety Building
    Phone: (612) 624-3550 Non-Emergency
    911 Emergency
    http://www1.umn.edu/umpolice/index.htm

Web Resources:

  1. The National Center for Victims of Crime-Stalking Resource Center: www.ncvc.org
  2. The Antistalking Website: http://www.antistalking.com

Twin Cities Campus: