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Violence Prevention

Violence Prevention Programs
Dean of Students Office
Virginia Solan
TLC 232-A
University of Idaho
Moscow , ID 83843-2431
Phone: (208) 885-0688

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Stalking

A Serious Crime

What is stalking?

While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Some things stalkers do:

  • Follow you and show up wherever you are.
  • Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails.
  • Damage your home, car, or other property
  • Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
  • Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
  • Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work.
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
  • Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
  • 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.

University of Idaho Student Code of Conduct

Under Article III, titled “physical abuse, hazing, or harassment,” any of the following actions are violations of the student code and the student is subject to judicial processes and punitive consequences, including expulsion. If you are a student being stalked, see Resources for options.

  • Harassment
  • Hazing
  • Detention
  • Threats
  • Intimidation
  • Coercion
  • Physical abuse

Common Feelings

If you are being stalked, you may:

  • Feel fear of what the stalker will do.
  • Feel vulnerable, unsafe, and not know who to trust.
  • Feel anxious, irritable, impatient, or on edge.
  • Feel depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, tearful, or angry.
  • Feel stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things.
  • Have eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating.
  • Have flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories.
  • Feel confused, frustrated, or isolated because other people don't understand why you are afraid.

Common Reactions

The following are some common responses to the stress of stalking:

  • 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next. (Baum et al., (2009). "Stalking Victimization in the United States." BJS)
  • 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop. (Baum et al.)
  • 1 in 8 employed stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization and more than half lose 5 days of work or more. (Baum et al.)
  • 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization. (Baum et al.)
  • The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves being followed or having one's property destroyed. (Eric Blauuw et al. "The Toll of Stalking," Journal of Interpersonal Violence 17, no. 1(2002):50-63.)

Who Are Stalkers?

A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.

  • 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
  • 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
  • Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
  • Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
  • Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.

(Kris Mohandie et al., "The RECON Typology of Stalking: Reliability and Validity Based upon a Large Sample of North American Stalkers," Journal of Forensic Sciences 51, no. 1 (2006)

Stalking Victimization

The following are some national numbers on stalking, revealing that there are many myths regarding this crime.

  • 6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.
  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed. Using a less conservative definition of stalking, which considers any amount of fear (i.e., a little fearful, somewhat fearful, or very fearful), 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men reported being a victim of stalking in their lifetime.
  • The majority of stalking victims are stalking by someone they know. 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
  • More than half of female victims and more than 1/3 of male victims of stalking indicated that they were stalked before the age of 25.
  • About 1 in 5 female victims and 1 in 14 male victims experienced stalking between the ages of 11 and 17.
  • Repeatedly receiving unwanted telephone calls, voice, or text messages was the most commonly experienced stalking tactic for both female and male victims of stalking.

(Michele C. Black et al., “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report,” (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).

  • 11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more.
  • 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.
  • 1 in 4 victims report being stalked through the use of some form of technology (such as e-mail or instant messaging).
  • 10% of victims report being monitored with global positioning systems (GPS), and 8% report being monitored through video or digital cameras, or listening devices.

(Katrina Baum et al., “Stalking Victimization in the United States,” (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009).

Stalking Laws in Idaho

Stalking is a crime under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Territories, and the Federal government. Less than 1/3 of states classify stalking as a felony upon first offense.

Stalking in the first degree

  1. A person commits the crime of stalking in the first degree if the person violates section 18-7906, Idaho Code, and:
    (a)The actions constituting the offense are in violation of a temporary restraining order, protection order, no contact order or injunction, or any combination thereof; or
    (b) The actions constituting the offense are in violation of a condition of probation or parole; or
    (c) The victim is under the age of sixteen (16) years; or
    (d) At any time during the course of conduct constituting the offense, the defendant possessed a deadly weapon or instrument; or
    (e) The defendant has been previously convicted of a crime under this section or section 18-7906, Idaho Code, or a substantially conforming foreign criminal violation within seven (7) years, notwithstanding the form of the judgment or withheld judgment; or
    (f) The defendant has been previously convicted of a crime, or an attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to commit a crime, involving the same victim as the present offense under any stated provisions of Idaho Code or a substantially conforming foreign criminal violation within seven (7) years, notwithstanding the form of the judgment or withheld judgment.

(4) Stalking in the first degree is a felony punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($ 10,000) or imprisonment in the state prison for not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Stalking in the second degree

  1. A person commits the crime of stalking in the second degree if the person knowingly and maliciously:
    (a) Engages in a course of conduct that seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the victim and is such as would cause a reasonable person substantial emotional distress; or
    (b) Engages in a course of conduct such as would cause a reasonable person to be in fear of death or physical injury, or in fear of the death or physical injury of a family or household member.

  2. As used in this section:
    (a) "Course of conduct" means repeated acts of nonconsensual contact involving the victim or a family or household member of the victim, provided however, that constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of this definition.
    (b) "Family or household member" means:

(1) A spouse or former spouse of the victim, a person who has a child in common with the victim regardless of whether they have been married, a person with whom the victim is cohabiting whether or not they have married or have held themselves out to be husband or wife, and persons related to the victim by blood, adoption or marriage; or

(2) A person with whom the victim is or has been in a dating relationship, as defined in section 39-6303, Idaho Code; or

(3) A person living in the same residence as the victim.

(c) "Nonconsensual contact" means any contact with the victim that is initiated or continued without the victim's consent, that is beyond the scope of the consent provided by the victim, or that is in disregard of the victim's expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued. "Nonconsensual contact" includes, but is not limited to:

(1) Following the victim or maintaining surveillance, including by electronic means, on the victim;

(2) Contacting the victim in a public place or on private property;

(3) Appearing at the workplace or residence of the victim;

(4) Entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased or occupied by the victim;

(5) Contacting the victim by telephone or causing the victim's telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously regardless of whether a conversation ensues;

(6) Sending mail or electronic communications to the victim; or

(7) Placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased or occupied by the victim.

(d) "Victim" means a person who is the target of a course of conduct.

(3) Stalking in the second degree is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($ 1,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Idaho Code § 18-6609. Crime of video voyeurism.

(1) As used in this section:

(a) "Broadcast" means the electronic transmittal of a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by a person or persons.

(b) "Disseminate" means to make available by any means to any person.

(c) "Imaging device" means any instrument capable of recording, storing, viewing or transmitting visual images.

(d) "Intimate areas" means the buttocks, genitals or genital areas of males or females, and the breast area of females.

(e) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, partnership, firm, association, joint venture or any other recognized legal entity or any agent or servant thereof.

(f) "Place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy" means:

(i) A place where a reasonable person would believe that he could undress, be undressed or engage in sexual activity in privacy, without concern that he is being viewed, photographed, filmed or otherwise recorded by an imaging device; or

(ii) A place where a person might reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile surveillance by an imaging device; or

(iii) Any public place where a person, by taking reasonable steps to conceal intimate areas, should be free from the viewing, recording, storing or transmitting of images obtained by imaging devices designed to overcome the barriers created by a person's covering of intimate areas.

(g) "Publish" means to:

(i) Disseminate with the intent that such image or images be made available by any means to any person; or

(ii) Disseminate with the intent that such images be sold by another person; or

(iii) Post, present, display, exhibit, circulate, advertise or allow access by any means so as to make an image or images available to the public; or

(iv) Disseminate with the intent that an image or images be posted, presented, displayed, exhibited, circulated, advertised or made accessible by any means and to make such image or images available to the public.

(h) "Sell" means to disseminate to another person, or to publish, in exchange for something of value.

(2) A person is guilty of video voyeurism when, with the intent of arousing, appealing to or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of such person or another person, or for his own or another person's lascivious entertainment or satisfaction of prurient interest, or for the purpose of sexually degrading or abusing any other person:

(a) He uses, installs or permits the use or installation of an imaging device at a place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the knowledge or consent of the person using such place; or

(b) He intentionally disseminates, publishes or sells any image or images of the intimate areas of another person or persons without the consent of such other person or persons and with knowledge that such image or images were obtained with the intent set forth above.

(3) A violation of this section is a felony.

Idaho Code § 18-6710. Use of telephone to annoy, terrify, threaten, intimidate, harass or offend by lewd or profane language, requests, suggestions or proposals -- Threats of physical harm -- Disturbing the peace by repeated calls – Penalties. (1994)

(1) Every person who, with intent to annoy, terrify, threaten, intimidate, harass or offend, telephones another and (a) addresses to or about such person any obscene, lewd or profane language, or makes any request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious or indecent; or (b) addresses to such other person any threat to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of the person addressed or any member of his family, or any other person; or (c) by repeated anonymous or identified telephone calls whether or not conversation ensues, disturbs the peace or attempts to disturb the peace, quiet, or right of privacy of any person at the place where the telephone call or calls are received, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to a term of not to exceed one (1) year in the county jail. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be sentenced to a term of not to exceed five (5) years in the state penitentiary.

(2) The use of obscene, lewd or profane language or the making of a threat or obscene proposal, or the making of repeated anonymous telephone calls as set forth in this section may be prima facie evidence of intent to annoy, terrify, threaten, intimidate, harass or offend.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the term "telephone" shall mean any device which provides transmission of messages, signals, facsimiles, video images or other communication between persons who are physically separated from each other by means of telephone, telegraph, cable, wire or the projection of energy without physical connection.

Idaho Code § 18-6711. Use of telephone to terrify (1994)

(1) Every person who telephones another and knowingly makes any false statements concerning injury, death, disfigurement, indecent conduct or criminal conduct of the person telephoned or any member of his family, with intent to terrify, intimidate, harass or annoy the called person, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon a second or subsequent conviction of the violation of the provisions of this section, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony.

(2) The making of a false statement as herein set out may be prima facie evidence of intent to terrify, intimidate, harass or annoy.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the term "telephone" shall mean any device which provides transmission of messages, signals, facsimiles, video images or other communication between persons who are physically separated from each other by means of telephone, telegraph, cable, wire or the projection of energy without physical connection.