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Stalking is two or more unwanted actions towards another person intended to control, threaten, harass or frighten. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time. Many people experience stalking in the context of an abusive relationship or when a relationship has ended, however, survivors can be stalked by acquaintances or strangers.

Stalking tactics can include:

  • Following
  • Coming to your home or work
  • Repeated phone calls or e-mails
  • Property damage
  • Sending unwanted gifts
  • Monitoring phone or computer use
  • Using technology to track you
  • Threats
  • Using social networking sites
  • Any other actions that control or scare you

Stalking can occur in various contexts:

  • Relationship Violence: Monitoring of victims while they are in the abusive relationship
    Purposes: Domination and control; Economic control; isolation

  • Separation Violence: Occurring post-separation of an abusive relationship
    Purposes: Intimidation; punishment for leaving relationship; desire to still control victim; not accepting relationship is over; in some cases can be accompanied by attempt to kill victim

  • Sexual Assault: Before and/or after assault
    Purposes: Targeting and selection of victims prior to assault; To intimidate and silence survivors after assault to increase chance victim will not report abuse

  • Acquaintance: Minimal or no dating or intimate relationship history
    Purposes: Fulfilling a fantasy of having a relationship; desire to control

  • Stranger: Obsession; often occurs with famous people
    Purposes: Fulfilling a fantasy of being part of a person’s life; desire to control


If you believe you are being stalked, feel free to contact MSU Safe Place to discuss safety planning and options.  You might also consider exploring our Safety Information.