Gender Relations Center educates ND about stalking
KATIE MCCARTY | Thursday, January 17, 2013
The Gender Relations Center (GRC) wants students to know how to protect themselves from unwanted attention.
As part of National Stalking Awareness Month, the Center is hosting a campaign titled “Stalking: Know it. Name it. Stop it.”
Emmanuel Cannady, assistant director of outreach services at the GRC, said the campaign aims to educate people about stalking in order to reduce its prevalence.
“Stalking takes many different forms and is underreported,” he said. “The definition of stalking has more to do with impact versus intent. Any form of unwanted contact that causes anxiety and fear is stalking.”
GRC representatives will man informational tables in North Dining Hall, South Dining Hall and the LaFortune Student Center, Cannady said. The Center will also hang posters with stalking facts and statistics in residence halls.
Stalking takes many forms and is difficult to define, Cannady said. It can include sending unwanted gifts, texts, phone calls, pictures or contact on social media sites.
“There can be many mixed messages about what exactly stalking is, but the key word is ‘unwanted,'” Cannady said.
The majority of victims are stalked by someone they know, Cannady said. Sixty-six percent of female victims and 41 percent of male victims are stalked by a former or current partner. One in six women and one in 19 men have been stalked.
“Men and women both underreport the crime, but for different reasons,” Cannady said. “Men tend to see stalking as merely annoying, not a potential threat, whereas women actually fear reporting the crime.”
Stalking transcends all 50 states, Cannady said, but many people are uninformed about its seriousness. Two-thirds of perpetrators stalk their victims once a week, and many more stalk their victims daily.
Stalkers fit no psychological profile, he said. Many move locations and are difficult to track.
Cannady said victims may suffer from anxiety, insomnia, depression and changes in behavior. He said friends should look out for these signs in one another.
“If you think you are being stalked, keep a log of all contact,” Cannady said. “This can be used for evidence. Be aware of who has access to your accounts on social media. If you think you are being stalked, do not hesitate to call NDSP [Notre Dame Security Police].”