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The term stalking describes a repeated pattern of behavior directed toward one person by another, resulting in fear for that person, or others. These behaviors can include clearly criminal actions, seemingly non-criminal, innocent actions, or both. Stalking can intensify and, in some cases, lead to actual physical harm to the person it targets. 

Compared to most other crimes, stalking stands out because it's not a one-time event but a pattern of repeated harm to the person being targeted. Stalking is all about a series of actions over time, not just one incident. This makes it different from many other crimes. 

Examples of stalking behavior include: 

  • Waiting outside your home, school or work. 
  • Following you. 
  • Committing a crime against you. 
  • Letters, phone calls, emails or text messages that threaten immediate serious personal violence. 

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Oregon Revised Statue 163.732 (Stalking) 

Stalking is a Class A misdemeanor. A person commits the crime of stalking if: 

  • The person knowingly alarms or coerces another person or a member of that person’s immediate family or household by engaging in repeated and unwanted contact with the other person; 
  • It is objectively reasonable for a person in the victim’s situation to have been alarmed or coerced by the contact; and 
  • The repeated and unwanted contact causes the victim reasonable apprehension regarding the personal safety of the victim or a member of the victim’s immediate family or household.

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How to Stop Stalking 

Anti-stalking laws empower the police and prosecutors to apprehend and charge stalkers with serious criminal offenses. However, victims of stalking also play a crucial role in the effectiveness of these laws. Law enforcement officers, domestic violence counselors, and mental health professionals offer the following guidance to victims on how to stop a stalker: 

  • Understand the Law and Cooperate with Prosecutors: While many stalking victims hesitate to press charges, doing so is essential to protect themselves from ongoing threats and violence. Some victims worry that legal action might worsen the stalker's behavior, but it's important to use the legal system to sever any ties with the stalker. 
  • Take Measures to Protect Yourself: Individuals facing stalking should take steps to safeguard themselves. Inform neighbors and coworkers about the stalker, provide them with a photo of the suspect, and instruct them on how to respond if they spot the stalker. Ensure that security personnel at your workplace are also aware. Installing Caller ID on your home telephone can help identify the stalker's calls, and if the stalker repeatedly contacts you, involve the police to set up a phone tap. 
  • Collect and Preserve Evidence: Stalking victims should gather and safeguard evidence that can be used to prosecute and convict the stalker. Law enforcement recommends maintaining a diary of stalking incidents and other crimes committed by the perpetrator. It's also a good practice to take photographs of property damaged by the stalker and document any injuries caused by them. Keep all letters, notes, telephone calls, and text messages from the perpetrator as evidence. 

What is a Stalking Protective Order? 

A Stalking Protective Order is a court order that tells a person who has made unwanted contact with you or a member of your immediate family or household to stop this behavior. Procedures are different from court to court. Check with your local court for filing instructions. 

To get a Stalking Protective Order under Oregon law, you need to have had two separate contacts within the past two years. According to the law, stalking involves repeated, unwelcome contact that is either alarming (causes fear) or coercive (forceful) to you. It should also be reasonable for you to feel alarmed or coerced, and these contacts must make you reasonably fear for your physical safety. 

How to Obtain a Stalking Protective Order 

To get a Stalking Protective Order, you have to go to the courthouse in the county where the stalker lives or where the unwanted contacts happened. It doesn't cost anything unless you want the court to grant you compensation. These forms aren't for seeking payment for any harm caused by the stalking. If you need to request compensation, you'll probably need a lawyer's assistance. To find a lawyer, you can contact the Oregon State Bar's Lawyer Referral Service at 503-684-3763 or 800-452-7636. If you can't afford a lawyer, ask the court staff if there's a legal services (legal aid) program in your area that might be able to assist you. 

Notify Public Safety of Restraining and Stalking Orders 

Persons who apply for or obtain protective, restraining or stalking orders that list college locations as being protected areas are required to provide Public Safety in Room AC2330 with a copy of the petition and declarations used to seek the order, a copy of any temporary order that is granted and a copy of any order that is made permanent. 

Individuals who request or receive protective, restraining, or stalking orders that specify college locations as protected areas must give Room AC2330's Public Safety a copy of the request and statements used to seek the order, a copy of any temporary order granted, and a copy of any order that becomes permanent.

Report a Concern: Sexual Harassment and Misconduct, Stalking, and Domestic or Dating Violence

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