Stalking a common fear on college campuses

By Mallory Terrence
February 14, 2008


Safety has been a major concern of many within the Cabrini College community. After the multiple robberies that occurred on campus this year, students are worried about protecting their personal belongings such as iPods and laptops, leaving many students to overlook the precautions in protecting themselves.

Imagine walking back from the library at 1 a.m., a time when most people are winding down their night. The trail towards your dorm room is dark and there are no emergency call boxes in sight. A step away from the dorms, an unknown person approaches you and starts to invade your personal space. The person is able to recite your activities from the last few days and acts as though you have met before. At this point you become extremely worried for your safety.

A stalker will watch, follow, call or continually send emails to their victim. When someone consistently contacts a person regardless of his or her requests for him or her not to, it is classified as stalking. Stalking is psychological terror, which makes the victim a prisoner in his or her own life.

The Internet is one way that stalkers track the activities of their victims. During a survey with a group of freshman on campus regarding this serious issue, the topic was immediately lightened when one girl mentioned, “Facebook stalking.”

The students laughed and joked at the idea that Facebook accounts allow users to see the newest information updates immediately. The same way the students keep updated on their friend’s pictures and relationship status, a stalker could stay informed on detailed information of their victim, such as where they hang out and with whom.

Stalking is a serious crime that many victims do not realize. Only half of all stalkings perpetrated against females are reported to the police and even fewer stalkings perpetrated against males are reported each year.

“My sister was and is being stalked by her ex-boyfriend of two years. He’s psycho; she even had to have her cell phone number changed,” Bernadette Landy, a freshman nursing major, said.

More than one million women and 400,000 men are stalked annually in the United States. A survey of University undergraduates revealed that 29 percent had been stalked while in college, a former dating partner stalked 20 percent of students and 80 percent of victims knew or had seen their stalker beforehand, according to The National Center for Victims of Crime.

College campuses obtain double the amount of stalkings then in the general public.

College campuses provide the perfect environment for stalkers because the campuses are relatively closed-in communities, where daily routines and regular behaviors can be easily monitored.

Never respond to a stalker, especially with begging or pleading, it only empowers the stalker and gives them the feeling of being in control.

Notify friends, family and neighbors of the issue. Regardless of how serious the events, appropriate reporting of each incident will serve as a back up in the event that you hurt your attacker in self-defense.

A kick boxing class is offered at the Dixon Center Mondays 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., giving students an opportunity to obtain skills to help protect them in any dangerous situation.

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Mallory Terrence

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