More than one out of every 10 women college students has dealt
or will deal with stalking, said www.womensenews.org.
According to current Colorado law, stalking involves a credible
threat and a person being somehow continuously contacted, either
directly or through an immediate family member or partner in a
relationship. Threats also must cause a “reasonable person to
suffer emotional distress,” according to the law.
“We have seen a dramatic increase in reports of stalking in the
past five years,” said Jody Jessup, assistant director in the
Office of Women’s Programs and Studies.
According to Jessup, there is an increase in available resources
for victims and recent changes to Colorado law are to thank for
“Stalking just became a felony in Colorado,” Jessup said. “We
want to make sure the public’s information is accurate and dismiss
some of the myths, because if we don’t victims can be victimized
all over again.”
Most stalkers may not even know they are breaking the law and
most cases typically evolve from two main situations.
“Typically a bad break-up or fantasy relationships are the main
ways that stalking begins,” Jessup said. “Most are looking for
control over a situation and don’t find their behavior
A Class 5 Felony, stalking carries a possible sentence of one to
three years and $1,000 to $100,000 in fines, assuming the
perpetrator has no prior record.
“Stalking isn’t something we deal with everyday, but it does
occur,” said Rita Davis, press information officer for Fort Collins
However, college students have more reason to worry than the
“College campuses are often dangerous and stalking is one of the
more common crimes. College women are far more likely to be stalked
than other women,” according to www.womensenews.org.
Stalking can include non-threatening mail or email, vandalism,
rape, attempted murder and murder.
“A lot of the cases go unreported,” said Jackie Nguyen, senior
staff psychologist at CSU’s Department of Counseling Services.
“Many people are unaware that it is even stalking until it becomes
more serious or threatening.”
No matter what the level of seriousness, the best way to deal
with a possible stalker is to report it to someone. CSU students
can seek assistance with the CSUPD, the Counseling Services Center
and the Women’s Programs and Studies department.
“We have a really positive history of justice on this campus,”
Stalking victims are diverse and can suffer with consequences
long after a crime has been committed.
“Stalking happens to both men and women,” Jessup said. “It can
cause long-term emotional distress, consistent worry and physical