Stalking

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    Stalking Laws

Wisconsin Stalking Laws

Wisconsin Statute: 940.32 Stalking. (Paraphrased)

  1. In this section:
    Two or more acts carried out over time, however short or long, that show a continuity of purpose, including any of the following:
    1. Maintaining a visual or physical proximity to the victim.
    2. Approaching or confronting the victim.
    3. Appearing at the victim's workplace or contacting the victim's employer or coworkers.
    4. Appearing at the victim's home or contacting the victim's neighbors.
    5. Entering property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim.
    6. Contacting the victim by telephone or causing the victim's telephone or any other person's telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously, regardless of whether a conversation ensues.
    7. Sending material by any means to the victim or, for the purpose of obtaining by the victim.
    8. Delivering an object to a member of the victim's family or household or an employer, coworker, or friend of the victim or placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by such a person with the intent that the object be delivered to the victim.
    9. Causing a person to engage in any of the acts described in subds. 7. to 9.
  2. Whoever meets all of the following criteria is guilty of a Class I felony:
    1. The actor intentionally engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person under the same circumstances to fear bodily injury to or the death of himself or herself or a member of his or her family or household.
    2. The actor intends that at least one of the acts that constitute the course of conduct will place the specific person in reasonable fear of bodily injury to or the death of himself or herself or a member of his or her family or household.
    3. The actor's acts induce fear in the specific person of bodily injury to or the death of himself or herself or a member of his or her family or household.

Examples of stalking:

Cyber stalking: emails, chat rooms, instant messengers, cell phones and pagers.

Following a person, watching a person from afar, continuous phone calls, delivering something to a person's residence, place of work, having other people make contact.

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    What To Do If Stalked

What do I do if I am being stalked?

  • Report the stalking behavior to the Menomonie (911 or 232-1283) or campus police (911 or 232-2222) immediately
  • Make a Stalking Safety Plan
  • Let people around you know what is going on, including your professors.
  • Vary your route, leave work and home at varying times
  • Go places w/others
  • Collect evidence (keep emails, phone messages, letters etc).
  • Keep a detailed journal of the stalking behavior

    Reporting Options

Who can I report to if I am being stalked?

There are various options for reporting incidents of sexual assault, stalking or relationship violence. If you are considering taking action against the perpetrator, you have the option of reporting to both the police and the Dean of Students Office.

Confidentiality Assured-UW Stout Police

If you are a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime and do not want to pursue action with University Police or the Menomonie Police Department, you may still want to consider making an anonymous report of criminal activity. With your permission, either police department will file a report of the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of an anonymous report is to allow for the police to follow up on your concern with strict confidentiality, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With the information you submit, the police can more accurately reflect crime statistics and establish patterns of crime with regard to location and method of operation. In addition, it allows them to provide timely alerts and warnings to the campus community when warranted. Email the UW-Stout Police or leave a message at (715) 232-2222. You may also call the Menomonie Police at (715) 232-1283.

The UW Stout Police and Menomonie Police Department will not issue underage drinking citations to students reporting to have experienced sexual assault.

Reporting Sources

If you have experienced rape, stalking, relationship violence you can report the incident to any of the following agencies:

  1. The Bridge to Hope
    (715) 235-9074
    1-800-924-9918
    Advocates at the Bridge to Hope are contracted with UW-Stout to provide students with support and information about the legal, medical, counseling, and disciplinary options on campus, in the community, at the hospital, when reporting to police, and in the court room. Advocacy services are free and confidential, and do not require you to make a report to police or campus officials. 
  2. Campus Police
    (715) 232-2222 or 911
    110 University Services Building
    Any sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking crime committed on campus property, regardless of whether or not the victim or the perpetrator is a student, staff or faculty member, should be reported to the University Police. Call the University Police if there is any question of where to make a report.
  3. Menomonie Police Department
    (715) 232-1283 or 911
    Acts of sexual violence that occur off campus should be reported to Menomonie Police.
  4. Dean of Students
    (715) 232-1181
    130 Bowman Hall
    The Dean of Students Office investigates students’ formal and informal complaints of sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking. The Dean of Students staff will ensure that you have the support and assistance you need and outline your options. 
  5. Counseling Center
    (715) 232-2468
    410 Bowman Hall
    Counselors provide support and caring attention while you cope with the emotional response to your experience and seek to restore your sense of safety and personal control. Several staff counselors have specialized training in helping people cope with and recover from traumatic reactions that can accompany sexual violence victimization. 
  6. Student Health Services
    (715) 232-1314
    103 1st Avenue West (N. Campus across from Wigen Hall)
    Physicians and Nurse Practitioners provide you with caring medical attention after sexual assault or domestic/dating violence including pregnancy and STD screening; medical examination and documentation of any injuries experienced and referral to other campus or community services.

    What Will Happen To Me?

What will happen to me if I report the stalking to the police?

If you choose to report the stalking behavior to the Menomonie Police Department or the Campus Police the following may happen.

  1. The police will encourage you to disclose to them the name of person stalking you, so that they can do a criminal background check on that person. It is your decision whether or not to disclose the name of the person.
  2. If you choose not to disclose the name of the person, the police may then educate you on ways that you can keep yourself safe.
  3. If you disclose the name of the person, the police will do a criminal background check on the person to see if he/she has been involved in any type of violent crimes in the past.
  4. The police may also contact the person stalking you to tell him/her to stop contacting you.
  5. The police may assist you in obtaining a "Protection Order"
  6. The police may refer you to helpful community resources to help you cope with the situation.

    Consequences for Stalking Offender

What will happen to the person who is stalking me?

The police may choose to make contact with the person, either in person or over the phone to tell the person to stop contacting you. In most cases, the person will discontinue contact. If the person continues to contact you or follow you, you need to report that to the police immediately. The police can then assess if you need to file a Protection Order. The police may also choose to tap your phone line if the contact is made on your land phone. If the behavior persists, then the person may be arrested.

What are the consequences for the person stalking me?

View Consequences for Stalking Offenders for a review of the campus disciplinary process for violations to the student code of conduct.

    How to Help a Friend

How Can I Help a Friend Who is Being Stalked?

  • Listen. Be there. Don't be judgmental. 
  • Encourage your friend to seriously consider reporting the rape to law enforcement authorities. A counselor or victim advocate can provide the information your friend will need to make this decision. 
  • Be patient. Remember, it will take your friend some time to deal with the crime.
  •  Let your friend know that professional help is available through the The Bridge to Hope. Encourage him or her to call the victim advocate (715-235-9074), but realize that only your friend can make the decision to get help.

    Stalking Safety Plan

There is no guarantee that if you follow all, or some, of these strategies that you will be safe; however, implementing these strategies may reduce your odds of physical or emotional harm from your stalker.

A printable Acrobat Reader pdf of this document is available at Stalking Safety Plan.

If You Are in Immediate Danger:

Go to one of the following places:

  • Police stations;
  • Residences of family/friends (location unknown to perpetrators);
  • Domestic violence shelters or local churches, etc.; and/or
  • Public areas (stalkers may be less inclined toward violence or creating a disturbance in public places).
  • Call 911 (police)
  • It is advised that as much caution as possible always be exercised when directly confronting the offender, as stalking sometimes escalates into violence.

If You Are Not In Immediate Danger:

If you believe that you are at risk for being in a potentially harmful or violent situation, the following options may be considered:

1. Restraining or Protective Orders

Generally, these court orders require the offender to stay away from and not interfere with you. If violated, the person may be immediately arrested. Restraining orders are not foolproof -- they often do not extend beyond certain lines of jurisdiction, and can only be enforced if they are broken. You should be cautioned against developing a false sense of security. Moreover, it often costs money to obtain such an order due to the cost of filing fees, or in some courts and jurisdictions, the need of obtaining legal assistance.

The police, Bridge to Hope or Victim Witness Program can assist you in obtaining one of these orders.

Illegal Acts

You may determine that the stalker has broken the law by entering your residence without your permission, stealing and/or destroying your property, physically and/or sexually assaulting you etc.

If so, these acts may be punishable. Notifying police of illegal acts may be important for the following reasons:

  1. If convicted, the stalker may be incarcerated and/or ordered to stay away from you;
  2. Charges may intimidate the offender, sending the message that his/her actions are illegal and will not be tolerated; and
  3. Notifying the police produces documentation, which may be useful in a future complaint for evidentiary or credibility purposes.

Preventive Measures

  • If you cannot account for all keys, change locks and secure spare keys.
  • If possible, install adequate outside lighting. Trim back bushes and vegetation around residence or ask your landlord to do this.
  • Maintain an unlisted phone number. If harassing calls persist, notify local law enforcement, but also keep a written log of harassing calls and any answering machine tapes of calls with the stalker's voice and messages.
  • Treat any threats as legitimate and inform law enforcement immediately.
  • Vary travel routes, stores and restaurants, etc., which are regularly used. Limit time walking, jogging, etc.
  • Inform a trusted neighbor and/or friends about the situation. Provide them with a photo or description of the suspect and any possible vehicles he/she may drive.
  • If residing in an apartment with an on-site property manager, provide the manager with a picture of the suspect.
  • Have co-workers screen all calls and visitors.
  • When out of the house or work environment, try not to travel alone if at all possible, and try to stay in public areas. If you ever need assistance, yell "fire" to get immediate attention, as people more readily respond to this cry for assistance than to any other.

Steps to Keeping Safe in Case of Stalking

This plan can be used if you are being stalked. There is another plan available to fill out that is for Domestic or Dating Violence. Click on: Domestic or Dating Violence Safety Plan.

We encourage you to complete this form with someone you trust and print this page and keep it with you. You may want to highlight the information below and copy and paste it into a Word Document.

(By the National Center for Victims of Crimes)

Standard safety checklist to be completed:

  1. If I believe I am being stalked, I will tell ___________________ and request assistance in obtaining help.
    (List names/ phone # of trusted people)
  2. I will report the incidents of stalking to ___________________.
    (This should be name/phone # for police etc.)
  3. If I believe I am in imminent danger I will ___________________.
    (This should list ideas of where you can go or who you can call. It is best to dial 911).
  4. When my stalker calls me I will ___________________.
    (Make sure to write down the date/time/details of the call. Save the message if one is left.)
  5. When my stalker emails me I will ___________________.
    (Make sure to keep a copy of all email messages sent from the stalker. It is best not to email the stalker.)
  6. When my stalker shows up at my home, school or place of employment, I will ___________________.
    (Dial 911 if you have a Protection Order.)
  7. When my stalker sends me something in the mail I will ___________________.
    (It is best not to open the package and bring it to the police immediately).
  8. I will keep all the emails and any other documents from the stalker in ___________________.
  9. If my stalker has keys to my car/apartment I will ___________________.

Job/School and Public Safety

I can do the following:

  1. I can tell my boss, professors, and ___________________ at work/school about this situation.
  2. I can ask ___________________ to help screen my phone calls.
  3. When leaving work/school I can do the following: ___________________
  4. When I am driving home from work and/or school and problems arise, I can ___________________
  5. I will change my route to and from work, school, and other places I frequent.
  6. I will avoid places that I usually go to such as certain bars, school activities etc.

Filling a Protection Order

(The police can assist you with this.)

  • I will keep the protection order ___________________ (the location). Always keep the Order with you.
  • I will give my Protection Order to police departments in the areas that I visit my friends, family, where I live, work and attend school.
  • If my Protection Order gets destroyed, I know I can go to the County Courthouse and get another copy.
  • If my stalker violates the Protection Order, I will call the police and report it.
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