Stalking

 

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 650.411h

Who Are the Victims?

Unfortunately, stalking is not a rare or unusual activity. Anyone can be a victim of stalking. According to the below listed statistics, your chance of being a victim of stalking is high, especially if you are a woman.

  • One out of every 20 adults will be stalked in their lifetime
  • One-third of women in domestic violence shelters are victims of stalking

Stalking Is

According to the anti-stalking laws, a person can be charged with stalking for willfully and repeatedly contacting another individual without permission. Under these laws, assailants could be charged with stalking for repeatedly:

  • Following or appearing within the sight of another
  • Approaching or confronting another individual in a public or private place
  • Appearing at the work place or residence of another
  • Entering or remaining on an individual’s property
  • Contacting by telephone
  • Sending mail or electronic mail

Take These Precautions!

  • Travel with friends
  • Do not walk alone
  • Change your telephone number to an unlisted number
  • Vary the times and routes you take to get to work or class or to other frequently visited places
  • Notify your family and friends, and explain the situation to your employer so that they may protect you at work

Remember: Anyone can be a stalker – someone you know well, a casual acquaintance, or a total stranger. Sometimes stalkers are former romantic partners of their victims.

What To Do If

Remember, you neither wanted nor deserved to be stalked. You are the victim, not the criminal. Suggestions of what to do if stalked are listed below. Every situation is different, so there are no set guidelines. Use your own judgment as to what actions to take.

Communicate to the stalker that you do not want any contact with him/her.
Report to your local law enforcement agency that you are a victim of stalking.
Build your case against the stalker by providing the police with any or all of the following:

  • 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. time, place, what was said, letters received).

Local Community Resources

If you feel that you are being stalked or are dealing with the effects of someone stalking you, there are resources to help you in the Livonia area and the State of Michigan.

Contact the Livonia Police Department 1-734-466-2470
Michigan Women’s Commission 1-517-373-2884
Family Violence Help line 1-800-996-6228
Stalking Victim Hotline 1-517-543-3775