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Federal and California laws and CSU/Cal State LA policies prohibit dating and domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking. This prohibition applies to students, employees, and others. These laws and policies apply to conduct both on and off-campus.
Campus sanctions include suspension, expulsion, and employment termination. Perpetrators may face arrest and criminal prosecution. Offenders may have to compensate victims for crime and misconduct related expenses.
Survivors and victims have numerous rights granted by federal and state laws. These rights include fair treatment, confidentiality and campus-based accommodations.
According to the Center's for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 17% of women and 6% of men have been the victim of stalking at some point in their lives. 10% of women and 2% of men are stalked by current or former intimate partners. Victims also report being stalked by acquaintances, strangers, family members, and persons of authority. Approximately 50% female victims and 40% of male victims were stalked before age 25.
Individuals who identify as lesbian, gay and bisexual are stalked, abused and raped at rates similar to and higher than heterosexuals. Bisexual women are stalked, abused and raped at the highest rates.
Stalking Warning Signs
Stalking may comprise a variety of behaviors. Common warning signs include these red flags identified by the CDC and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office:
- Threatening to harm or kill the victim or the victim’s family, friends or pets.
- Repeatedly following the victim to his/her home, job, gym, school or other places.
- Repeatedly calling the victim at home or at work.
- Repeatedly sending the victim unwanted emails, instant messages, text messages, voice messages, and social media messages.
- Sending the victim unwanted gifts or items, including menacing things such as dead flowers, torn-up photos, disfigured dolls or dead animals.
- Repeatedly waiting outside the victim’s home or workplace for no legitimate reason.
- Leaving strange and potentially threatening items in places where victims will find them.
- Showing up uninvited at places or events where the victim is present.
- Vandalizing victim's home, car or other property.
- Sneaking into the victim's home or car and doing things to scare the victim or let them know the perpetrator was there.
- Stealing the victim’s mail or monitoring the victim’s voice mail or email messages.
- Utilizing online information sources or electronic devices such as GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment to track or monitor the victim’s activities.
- Posting harassing information about the victim on the Internet, in chat rooms or other public places.
Cyberstalking warning signs include stalkers going online to:
- Use social media to threaten their victims.
- Use spyware to monitor their victim's computer activity (e.g., email, passwords).
- Pretending to be their victim in chat rooms.
- Forging damaging emails to victim's family, friends or co-workers.
- Other harassing behaviors.
Any escalation of stalking behaviors is cause for concern and steps should be taken to protect safety, including reporting incidents to law enforcement, Cal State LA Title IX Officer or campus security authorities, and calling 911 if there is a threat of imminent danger.
For a closer look at one possible stalking scenario, take a look at Stalking 1 by Student Success:
Many individuals have the misconception that stalking is more annoyance than crime. They're mistaken. Stalking is more than a nuisance. It is a crime that is a serious threat to personal safety. Episodes may last for years, escalate without intervention, and result in significant emotional, physical, and financial hardship. When violence is involved, stalking often results in lethal acts.
Criminal stalking is defined by California Penal Code §646.9. It states “Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking.”
Stalking cases can involve additional crimes and threatening behaviors, including: identity theft; terrorism or criminal threats; vandalism; disclosing personal information about the victim to others; domestic violence; sexual assault; violation of protective/restraining orders; kidnapping; and murder.
Stalking as Defined by CSU Policies
Note: CSU Executive Orders 1096 and 1097 are available at CSU Policies.
The CSU prohibits stalking. Stalking is often based on gender. CSU prohibits all such misconduct whether or not it is based on gender.
Stalking means engaging in a repeated course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her or others’ safety or to suffer substantial emotional distress. For purposes of this definition:
- Course of Conduct means two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through Third Parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property;
- Reasonable Person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with the same Protected Status(es) as the Complainant;
- Substantial Emotional Distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Additional Information and Resources
See Project SAFE's Resources and:
References are available upon request.
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