Stalking generally involves one person’s obsessive and unwanted behavior toward another person. Under New York law, stalking is defined as engaging in a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact or any other course of conduct against a specific person that:
- is likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to the physical health, safety or property of such person, a member of such person's immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted; or
- causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of such person, where such conduct consists of following, telephoning or initiating communication or contact with such person, a member of such person's immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct; or
- is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business or career is threatened, where such conduct consists of appearing, telephoning or initiating communication or contact at such person's place of employment or business, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct.
This includes cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the Internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, intimidate, threaten or make unwelcome contact with another person.
While some stalkers are strangers or acquaintances of those they target, most are current or former spouses or intimate partners. Stalking can occur during a relationship or after it has ended. Many intimate partner stalkers also physically or sexually assault their victims or threaten to do so.
Stalking often involves the following behaviors:
- following you or showing up wherever you are;
- driving by or hanging out near your home, school, or workplace, or any other place you normally go;
- communicating with you or trying to do so after you’ve told them not to, including:
- calling you on the phone (including hang-ups);
- texting you or sending you messages via social networking sites;
- sending you unwanted letters, cards, e-mails, or gifts;
- asking your family, friends, co-workers, children, or others to leave messages for you or to find out information about you;
- monitoring your phone calls or computer use;
- damaging your home, car or other property (or threatening to do so);
- accessing your online accounts and other secure personal information; or
- taking other actions that control, track, intimidate or frighten you.
If you are being stalked, it is important to keep a written record, including:
- the date;
- the time;
- a description of the incident;
- location of the incident; and
- any witnesses, including their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
This information could be useful should you decide to seek help from law enforcement or the courts. Individuals who are convicted of the crime of stalking face serious penalties of up to seven years in prison. Juilliard students, faculty and staff accused of stalking are also subject to School disciplinary sanctions, up to and including termination of employment or dismissal from the School.
In order to investigate incidents of stalking and protect the Juilliard community, victims of, and witnesses to, such behavior should report incidents to the Dean of Student Affairs, ext. 7447 (for student reports) or the Director of Human Resources, ext. 355 (for faculty and staff reports). Any member of the community can also make a report to the Vice President for Facilities Management, ext. 311. Juilliard will assist in providing counseling and support to stalking victims through Student Counseling Services (for students) and the Employee Assistance Program (for faculty and staff). In cases involving an immediate threat or serious injury, victims or witnesses should call 911.
Additional information and resources can be obtained from the New York State Office for the Prevention of Sexual Violence at http://www.opdv.ny.gov/professionals/criminal_justice/stalking/stalking-infoguide.html or by calling 1-800-621-HOPE (4673). Victims may also obtain assistance by calling the Safe Horizon Crime Victims Hotline at 1-866-689-HELP (4357).