Stalking is a pattern of behavior characterized by a person being afraid or concerned for their safety because of being repeatedly spied on, watched, or contacted (in person or via mail, email, phone, etc.)  

People react to stalking 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 victim-survivors may change their behaviors to cope with the stalking. Are they changing travel routes? Avoiding certain locations? Screening calls? These may be indicators that they are afraid.


Have you experienced sexual violence or have questions related to victim-survivor support, referrals, accommodations, and reporting options and need to speak to a VOICE Advocate?

For confidential support contact us at 404.894.9000 24 hours per day.

Appointments are available for individuals affiliated with Georgia Tech.  

Many times the person committing acts of stalking is a former dating partner or someone who may have been interested in a social or romantic relationship. This prior relationship can lead survivors to try and handle the situation on their own and only seek help when the situation has escalated or persisted for some time. VOICE encourages students to seek support when they are uncomfortable or afraid, even if they aren't sure if it meets the definition of stalking.

Some of the behaviors that make up the crime of stalking are criminal on their own (like property damage). Even if the behavior is not a crime on its own (like texting excessively), it may be part of the pattern of stalking behavior and victims should consider seeking support and/or documenting and reporting it.

Many victim-survivors do not use the term "stalking" but they describe stalking behaviors. They may also struggle with how to respond to stalking behaviors. Some try reasoning with them to placate them, hoping that “being nice” will make it stop or out of desire not to hurt the person's feelings. Many victim-survivors minimize their experiences, telling themselves “it’s not that bad.” Still others may confront or threaten the person or try to argue or “fight back.” While victim-survivors cannot control the stalking behavior, they should feel empowered to seek help and to take other steps to keep themselves, their families, and their loved ones safe.

While every case is different, stalking can be dangerous. Stalkers may threaten, attack, sexually assault, and/or even kill their victims. Unfortunately, there is no single profile that predicts which stalkers will escalate to physical violence. Stalkers’ behaviors can escalate from more indirect ways of making contact (like phone calls or texts) to more direct contact (like delivering gifts or showing up where you are).

Information adapted from the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC).

Examples of Stalking

  • Follow you and show up wherever you are.
  • Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails.
  • Damage your residence hall room, apartment, home, car, or other property.
  • Monitor your phone calls, text messages, or computer use.
  • Use technology, like hidden cameras, tracking apps on your phone, or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
  • Drive by or hang out at your home, outside of classes, student organization meetings, or work.
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  • Other actions that control, track, or frighten you.