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Stalking in College: Women are at a Greater Risk, and Technology is Key

By HERWriter
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It’s not uncommon to hear a woman playfully tell a friend, boyfriend or potential boyfriend that they’re "Facebook stalking" her when the other person is always checking her profile or comments often on different posts.

But what if that person really started becoming obsessed and sent tons of messages or commented on everything, even after the woman told him or her to stop. What if it got to the point where the obsession started to threaten the safety of the woman?

The Bureau of Justice in the U.S. Department of Justice found in a report on female victims of violence that women are stalked more often than men (20 per 1,000 female victims versus seven per 1,000 male victims), and “during a 12-month period in 2005 and 2006, an estimated 3.4 million persons age 18 or older were victims of stalking.”

Mary Friedrichs, the director of the Office of Victim Assistance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said the general term "stalking" is used over "cyber stalking," since technology is just one way for stalkers to get access to a victim.

A fact sheet from the National Center for Victims of Crime’s Stalking Resource Center stated that “persons aged 18-24 years experience the highest rate of stalking,” “1 in 4 victims report being stalked through the use of some form of technology (such as e-mail or instant messaging),” and “10 percent of victims report being monitored with global positioning systems (GPS), and 8 percent report being monitored through video or digital cameras, or listening devices.”

She said in the past school year, her office dealt with 12 cases of stalking, though not all college students who are being stalked come to the office, and it could also be classified under harassment.

When threats start being made and there is possible harm to the victim, that becomes stalking, she said.

“Harassment would perhaps be somebody who’s sending four or five messages a day, and stalking might be 50 or trying to contact the person more often, or if it’s looking more scary,” Friedrichs said. “The way you define stalking is when it gets scary.”

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Cyber stalking is a new kind of computer related crime occurring in our society. It occurs when a person is followed and pursued on line. Here are some useful information about the subject: http://www.erces.com/journal/articles/archives/volume2/v03/v02.htm

Anna from her blog about silver sandals and fashion.

October 6, 2011 - 11:35pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for giving this information about stalking I haven’t experienced being stalked, but I make it sure I have the protection I needed that is why I immediately made an action regarding this issue. I registered myself and my family to (website). I found out how essential and helpful the service is. It’s a mobile application that enables me to ask help from my friends, family and the nearest 911 in just a press of a panic button when I am in danger. It has many features that work for me and also to my whole family. (Link to website removed by EmpowHER Moderator.)

December 14, 2010 - 11:59am

I am working on a documentary about this crime with Journalist and Film Maker Linda May Kallestein. What we have seen is that there is a tendency for women to be easier targets. Stalkers love technology because it opens up a really huge box of tools for them to perpetuate their behaviour. I would really love to hear from anyone who wants to share a story or is willing to be interviewed.
Find the Like page on Facebook for Cyberstalking Info and contact us there. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cyberstalking-Info/145937872098535?ref=mf

@Jodisvoice you are quite correct. The law is way behind technology and what is needed is a global standard.

(Email address removed by EmpowHER moderator. Members are encouraged to use the private email system on this site to contact each other.)

August 7, 2010 - 3:09am

Thank you for helping bring awareness to the crime of stalking! It is long overdue that the crime is treated as such! Too often victims are left feeling even more helpless by well-meaning, but misunderstanding friends, family and even law enforcement.
Thank you for helping to spread awareness!

August 5, 2010 - 9:29pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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