Stalking is defined as:
"...a 'willful course of conduct' involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, 'harassed' or molested and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested."
— Michigan Penal Code MCLA 650.411 h
Stalking takes many forms
- Following or appearing within the sight of another.
- Approaching or confronting another individual in a public or private place.
- Appearing at the workplace or residence of another.
- Entering or remaining on an individual's property.
- Contacting by telephone.
- Sending mail or electronic mail.
Unfortunately, stalking is not a rare or unusual activity. Anyone can be a victim of stalking -- ordinary citizens or celebrities. According to the below statistics, your chance of being a victim of stalking is high, especially if you are a woman.
- One out of 20 adults will be stalked in their lifetime.
- One-third of women in domestic violence shelters are victims of stalking.
What to do
- Communicate to the stalker that you do not want any contact with him/her.
- Report to your local police department that you are a victim of stalking, whether or not you plan to file formal charges.
- Documentation (personal journal or diary) of the stalker's activities.
- Taped recording(s) of threatening telephone calls.
- Videotape of stalker's actions.
- Basic identifying information (i.e., license plate number, make of car, personal appearance).
- List of contacts with the stalker (i.e., date, time, place, what was said, letters/calls received).
If you are being stalked
Exercise your legal rights
Get an anti-stalking restraining order from your local circuit court. (This order states that the stalker is to have no contact with the victim; if violated, criminal penalties will follow.) This will not only protect you, but also assist the police in enforcing the anti-stalking law. It also increases the penalties should the stalker violate the restraining order.[MCLA 600.2950a]
For further support or information, contact:
- CMU Police Department - (989) 774-3081
- Listening Ear - (989) 772-2918
- Woman's Aid Service (24 Hour Line) - (989) 772-9168
- Family Violence Helpline - (800) 996-6228
- Woman's Commission - (989) 373-2884
- Stalking Victim Hotline - (989) 543-3775