Stalking literally means to pursue prey or quarry. Legally, it is defined by state statutes, and is generally considered a course of conduct that places a person in fear for their safety. Stalking also applies to acts committed against the person’s family, friends, and acquaintances in an act of conduct that puts a person in fear for their safety. The variety of specific strategies employed and behaviors displayed by stalkers are limited only by the creativity and ingenuity of the stalkers themselves.
In Colorado, stalking is defined as harassing someone (i.e., following, contacting, or watching another person) in a way that causes them to feel fearful. A first time offense is considered a Class 5 Felony, and a Class 4 Felony when there is a restraining order or injunction already in place.
However, the term "stalking" is more commonly used to describe specific kinds of behavior directed at a particular person, such as harassing or threatening another products person.
Stalking is a gender neutral crime, with both male and female perpetrators and victims. However, best statistics indicate that 75-80% of all stalking cases involve men stalking women. Most stalkers tend to fall into the young to middle-aged categories. Most stalkers have above-average intelligence. Stalkers come from every walk of life and every socio-economic background. Virtually anyone can be a stalker, just as anyone can be a stalking victim.
Advocates are available to provide confidential crisis intervention and emotional support through the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. Advocates in the office are full time staff members dedicated to working with students who have experienced trauma. We provide information about academic, legal, medical, emotional, and student conduct resources to students dealing with stalking. We also offer support to secondary survivors, such as intimate partners, friends, family, and you.
Call 970-491-6384 during business hours M-F. An advocate is available for walk-ins or scheduled appointments during business hours. All information shared with advocates is confidential unless the person is a danger to themselves, someone is in imminent danger, a child currently under 18 has been abused or if the perpetrator is currently in a position of power over minors (even if the survivor is over the age of 18).
For excellent information on stalking, including stalking behavior logs, safety plan guidelines, and a complete handbook for victims, contact the National Center for Victims of Crime Stalking Resource Center online at www.ncvc.org, call 1-800-FYI-CALL (M-F 8:30 AM - 8:30 PM EST).