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Safety Information

We are very concerned about safety. MSU Safe Place advocates can help survivors of relationship violence or stalking to evaluate their situation and create an individualized safety plan based on an assessment of the current situation. Advocates can also assist with the process of requesting a Personal Protection Order or other protective measures, if a survivor chooses to do so. To access support, call (517) 355-1100.

A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes strategies for survivors to help reduce risk of harm in relationship violence or stalking related situations. Our program can safety plan with survivors, friends, family members or anyone who is concerned about their safety or the safety of another person related to relationship violence or stalking. To schedule an appointment or get more information, call (517) 355-1100. You may also wish to check out a safety plan template.

Stalking is unpredictable and dangerous. No two stalking situations are alike. There are no guarantees that what works for one person will work for another, yet you can take steps to assess the situation and increase your safety.

Threats to Your Safety:

  • Being followed
  • Receiving threatening or unwanted e-mail, phone calls, mail or notes
  • Having your car, bike or other belongings tampered with or destroyed
  • Unwanted gifts
  • Tampering of your home, work area or car, so that you know someone has been there
  • Observing the person who is following you in your neighborhood, where your work or go to school, and/or public places that you frequent
  • Injury to your pets and/or children or threats to harm them
  • Other actions that are done to instill fear in you

The risks to your safety are higher if the person stalking you has weapons, has threatened suicide or to kill you, has told you about a history of hurting others, and/or if there has been a history where he/she has physically or sexually assaulted you.

Options You May Consider:

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
  • Trust your instincts. Don’t minimize the danger. If you feel you are unsafe, you probably are.
  • Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
  • Contact MSU Safe Place or another domestic violence/stalking program. They can help you devise a safety plan, give you information about local laws, weigh options such as seeking a protection order, and refer you to other services.
  • Develop a safety plan, including details like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having a friend or relative go places with you. Also, decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up at your home, work, school, or somewhere else. Tell people how they can help you.
  • Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you or contacts you, write down the time, date, and place. Keep emails, text messages, phone messages, letters, or notes. Photograph anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw.
  • Contact the police. Every state has stalking laws. The stalker may also have broken other laws by doing things like assaulting you or stealing or destroying your property. Even if the police are not able to make an arrest, reporting it to law enforcement will result in a police report, which may help in getting a PPO or prosecution in the future, if that is pursued.
  • Consider getting a personal protection order (PPO). This is a civil order that is signed by a judge, telling the person who is stalking you to leave you alone. In order to get a PPO, you need to know the name of the person stalking you. The Personal Protection Order Office can assist anyone wishing to initiate a PPO or attend PPO related hearings. The PPO Office located in Lansing, MI can be reached at (517) 483-6545 and the PPO Office in Mason, MI can be reached at (517) 676-8285.
  • Tell family, friends, roommates, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support. The more people who know about the situation, the safer you may be.
  • Tell security staff at your job or school. Ask them to help watch out for your safety.

People Search is a database that has information about faculty, staff, retirees, and students. The database also contains contact information for people affiliated with the university, such as Guest Scholars. Note that some individuals’ listings are restricted and therefore you will not be able to find them using this search function. Source information provided to People Search is updated each business day. It may take a few days for updates to take effect. To expedite an update, please contact the MSU IT Service Desk via online form or by calling (517) 432-6200.

How To Modify Your Info in People Search:


  • Students may wish to restrict all or part of the directory information refer to Student Rights Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).


  • Personal information, including distinguishing between legal and professional name, can be changed at the EBS Portal.
  • Can employees change their own business address or phone number information? No, a Unit Administrator must make the change. Employees can change their own personal (home) addresses and phone number through EBS but can only view their business address information.


Technology plays a major role in our world today.  For survivors, technology can present both challenges and benefits. Technology, in its various forms, offers essential tools survivors can use to access help, strategically maintain safety and privacy, and remain connected to family and friends. In some cases, it can also be used to prove guilt and hold offenders accountable. 

On the other hand, the safety and privacy of survivors is often compromised by those who misuse technology to monitor, stalk, abuse and control them. There are many things to consider when it comes to technology safety. The information below is intended to provide an overview of some concerns survivors may face.

Tech-enabled abuse can include any of the following:

• Making unwanted phone calls or sending unwanted texts

• Making threats, intimidating, humiliating, or spreading rumors using technology

• Impersonating the survivor or someone in their life

• Demanding passwords or access to private accounts such as online banking, social media and email

• Monitoring an individual’s phone use

• Installing location monitoring through tracking devices or apps


• Taking intimate photos or videos of a partner without permission

• Threatening to distribute and/or distributing intimate images without consent

• Manipulating or forcing a partner to take photos or videos

• Installing cameras throughout the home

• Using social media to monitor or track someone

Email can be a useful way to keep in touch with trusted friends and family members who may be aware of your situation. An abusive partner is likely to know this and may have access to your email account without your knowledge. To be safe, open an account your partner doesn’t know about on a safe computer and use that email for safety planning and sensitive communications.
Use several different methods of communication when contacting people so that you’ll know if they tried to reach you elsewhere, and keep your monitored account active with non-critical emails in order to maintain appearances. Encrypted email services may offer an extra layer of security.

Internet History:

Whenever you browse online, a digital footprint is created which maps out your online history such as websites visited, or anything searched. Online history is easily viewable to anyone with access to your cell phone, computer, tablet, laptop, etc. Clearing the history, and emptying the cache file of saved information can be done in a few steps and is a great way to prevent being tracked. Click to view information specific to various types of browsers

Using a Safe Computer:

Safe computers can be found at your local library, Internet cafe, shelter, workplace, or computer technology center; avoid using shared computers when researching things like travel plans, housing options, legal issues, and safety plans. Using safe browsing practices (like using a VPN) can help prevent abusive partners from tracking your Internet history.

Cell phones provide quick access to resources and information, but it can also give other people instant updates on your whereabouts, habits, and activities. Cell phones can be used to track your location and retrieve call and text history.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, you may consider purchasing a pay-as-you-go phone and keep it in a safe place for private calls. Use a password on your phone and update it regularly. If you are concerned that your partner may be secretly monitoring your phone, consider checking it for any spyware that may be downloaded.

When using mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops) location services are often activated in order to help locate your device. This can allow others to find your device and you. Turning off your location services can help keep others from knowing your location thus keeping you safe.

Click for detailed steps to turn off location services on your device.

Posts on social media are never truly private, no matter your settings: once it’s online, it’s no longer under your control. Be protective of your personal information and remember that phone numbers, addresses, handles, and personal details (like birth date, schools you attended, employers, and photos with landmarks) may make it easier for someone to reach you.

Set boundaries and limits, and ask people not to post personal information, photos, or check-ins you aren’t comfortable with.

Check your social media settings to make sure your privacy settings are strict, and disable the ability for other people to tag you in their photos or posts. Similarly, don’t post information about people without their consent – you could jeopardize their safety or the safety of others.

• Consider using a safer device (one that the person who is abusive does not have physical assess to)

• Change user names and passwords regularly

• Change the answers to your security questions to things that only you would know.

• Save or document threatening messages, photos, videos, or voicemails as evidence of abuse.

• Be mindful when “checking in” to places online, either by sharing your location in a post or posting a photo with distinguishable backgrounds.

• Once you share a post or message, it’s no longer under your control. Abusive partners may save or forward anything you share, so be careful sending content you wouldn’t want others to see.

• Know and understand your privacy settings. Social media platforms allow users to control how their information is shared and who has access to it. These settings are often customizable and may be found in the privacy section of the website. Keep in mind that some apps may require you to change your privacy settings or share your location in order to use them.

• Note that some people who are abusive will call from unknown or blocked numbers, especially if they suspect or know you are avoiding them.

• Ask your friends to always seek permission from you before posting content that could compromise your privacy. Do the same for them.