Under no circumstances should you make an effort to have an in-person meeting with someone who is stalking you, or who you believe is stalking you. Never agree to meet the perpetrator in person to try to “work it out” or “talk things out.” Stalkers have the potential to be very dangerous and meeting a stalker in person will only increase this danger.
- Tell someone.
Individuals are encouraged to contact local law enforcement officials and VIU Student Affairs or a Title IX Coordinator. If you are not comfortable informing any of the above, you are encouraged to talk to your friends and family about the situation.
- Send one clear written warning.
This warning should convey that the contact the perpetrator is engaging in is unwanted and that you would like all communication to e nd. Do this only once. After sending one clear written warning, do not respond to any communications or have any other contact with the stalker, under any circumstances. This warning can be via text messaging or email, but it should be written so that it is documented.
- Collect and document all evidence.
Save all communications the stalker has with you in both electronic and hard-copy form. Communications include but are not limited to: text messages, emails, Facebook messaging, Skype messages, Snapchat chats (take screenshots if possible), or any other possible communication tools. Record the dates and times of any contact with the stalker. Do not edit any of the communications, all evidence should be preserved to aid in obtaining a protection order against the perpetrator.
- Keep a detailed log and account of stalking behavior.
Start a log that details each communication. Include the date, time, type of incident, witnesses, or other relevant information. Document any steps you have taken to stop the stalking, such as the written clear warning, blocking the stalker’s number, unfriending or blocking on Facebook and other social media platforms, and any other steps you have taken. Keep an account of how the stalking is affecting you personally, emotionally, and in your daily life. A free template for a Stalking Log is available here1.
- File a report with VIU or local law enforcement officials.
Save any and all copies of police reports and record all contact with law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office, and VIU. Include these notes in your Stalking Log.
- Change your contact information.
You may want to consider changing your email address and phone number. If you would like to change your VIU email address, please email IT@viu.edu with this request.
- Obtain information about the resources available to you.
The Sexual Misconduct Policy offers a list of on-campus and community resources that are available. These resources range from information about protective orders, hotlines, organizations, and shelters.
- Take advantage of the resources available to you.
Knowing what resources are available is the first step, but sometimes taking the next step can be challenging. If you are unsure of what you want or would be best for your situation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help exploring your options.
- Consider seeking a protective order.
A civil protection order is a civil order that protects victims of stalking. For more information about obtaining a Protective Order in DC, click here2.
For more information about obtaining a Protective Order in Virginia, click here3. For more information on obtaining a Protective Order in Maryland, click here4.
For more information about Safety Planning and Stalking Safety, visit the Stalking Resource Center5.
1.The Stalking Log template is available here: http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/src/stalking-incident-log_pdf.pdf
2.Information about DC Protective Orders is available here: (1) https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/keeping-yourself-safe-protection-orders; (2) http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/public/aud_dvu/orderfor.jsf; and (3) http://www.womenslaw.org/laws_state_type.php?id=10741&state_code=DC
3. Information about VA Protective orders is available here: (1) http://www.womenslaw.org/laws_state_type.php?id=10047&state_code=VA; and (2) http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/district/info_sheet_protective_order_stalking.pdf
4. Information about MD Protective Orders is available here: (1) http://www.womenslaw.org/laws_state_type.php?id=75&state_code=MD; (2) http://www.courts.state.md.us/courtforms/joint/ccdcdvpo001br.pdf; and (3) https://www.peoples-law.org/protective-orders
5. The Stalking Resource Center is available here: http://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center/help-for-victims/stalking-safety-planning