Lyon College is committed to keeping students safe from the dangers of stalking.
Stalking is defined as a pattern of behavior directed at a specific individual that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the individual's safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
The definition of stalking includes that a reasonable person would feel fear. It is important to note that fear is often masked by other emotions: anger, frustration, hopelessness or despair.
Many stalkers’ behaviors seem innocuous or even desirable to outsiders – for example, sending expensive gifts. The stalker’s actions don’t seem scary and are hard to explain.
Fear is contextual. What’s scary to one person may not be scary to another. In stalking cases, many of the behaviors are only scary to a victim because of their relationship with the stalker.
For example: A bouquet of roses is not scary on its own. But when a victim receives a bouquet from an abusive ex-boyfriend who she recently relocated to get away from – and she did not think he knew where her new home was – this flower delivery becomes terrifying and threatening.
It is essential for responders to ask about and understand why certain behaviors are scary to the victim.
People react to stalkers in a variety of ways. Some may seem irritated or angry rather than scared, while others may minimize and dismiss their stalking as “no big deal.” Irritation, anger, and/or minimization may be masking fear.
It is helpful to consider how victims may change their behaviors to cope with the stalking. Are they changing travel routes? Avoiding certain locations? Screening calls? These may be indicators that victims are afraid.
How is stalking different from harassment?
Stalking and harassment are similar and can overlap. Harassment may be part of a stalking pattern of behavior/course of conduct.
Generally, the element of fear is what separates stalking from harassment. Harassment is typically irritating and bothersome, sometimes to the point where a victim feels deeply uncomfortable. However, victims of harassment are not typically afraid of their perpetrators.
For example, a colleague who consistently mocks a new coworker for her appearance may be harassing her by saying cruel things and sending disparaging e-mails. While the victim is distressed and may feel sad, anxious, angry and/or uncomfortable, she is not afraid of the perpetrator – she does not believe that the behaviors will escalate or that further harm will come to her. However, if that same perpetrator began calling the victim’s cell phone, following the victim and/or posting disparaging things about the victim online, it could become stalking.
What is Stalking?
Why Learn About Stalking? (video)
Lyon College is in the process of partnering with local law enforcement to design and offer a free course on self-defense to Lyon students. This course will be taught on an annual basis, and will be free to students. The course is limited to women only.
If you hear shots fired on campus or if you witness an armed person shooting or threatening people (active shooter): Immediately choose the best way to protect your life. Very quickly, make your best determination of what is occurring and which of the options below will provide the greatest degree of security for you employing the “RUN, HIDE, or FIGHT” protocol.
RUN: Evacuate if possible.
HIDE: Hide silently in as safe a place as possible.
FIGHT: Take action to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter.
Immediately after an incident:
Run, Hide, Fight (video)
Fire Safety (PDF)
Whether you are heading off to college for the first time or beginning your senior year, you can never be too safe. Here at Lyon, we want every student to always be thinking safe. Here are some safety tips to follow to help keep you and your belongings safer and accounted for:
Around the Campus:
Safety in the Residence Halls:
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