Stalking is not a new idea. It’s often romanticized in some of our favorite movies and TV shows such as “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Stranger Things,” “YOU,” “The Notebook,” “ Dead Poets Society” and many other fan favorites.
On Jan. 30 at Glass Hall, members from Project HEAL, Victim Center, Harmony House, Engaging Men, Title IX, the counseling center and campus security gathered to discuss stalking and harassment.
Project HEAL Coordinator, Kunti Bentley, began the seminar by having the audience watch “Stalking For Love,” on YouTube which discussed how stalking is seen as romantic or has romantic undertones.
“The media often portrays stalking to be super romantic when in actuality stalking is actually a very serious crime,” said Bentley.
Stalking can occur from either men or women, neither of which is okay. However, “statistics show that women are more likely to be the victims of stalking and men are more likely to be the perpetrators,” according to “Stalking For Love.”
Missouri State offers a variety of programs such as Project Heal, Green Dot and Title IX. These are services that students can go to receive support, report incidents or receive individual or group counseling.
“You can come to see me if you just feel uncomfortable and aren’t sure it’s stalking yet, and I can help you craft and edit responses to people to let them know to knock it off,” said Title IX Coordinator Jill Patterson.
Green Dot is a program that launched during the 2016-2017 school year. The idea behind Green Dot is to help lower stalking, sexual assault and dating and domestic violence on campus.
The idea is to picture a map of a community, there is a red dot that symbolizes harm to someone. The red dots begin to grow and spread across this map. Green dots represent someone trying to prevent the red dots from happening. These can be big or little actions to help replace the red dots to green.
Other resources available are Harmony House, Victim Center and Greene County Family Justice Center, which also provide services to individuals such as emergency housing to families involved with domestic violence, prevention education services, court support and counseling.
A service offered at MSU is Safe Walk. Call 417-836-5509 and an officer will come and escort you to where you need to go on campus.
“Often I have people who underestimated the concerns they might have had with something, rather than overestimating it,” said Patterson. “You come to see us early and often, and we are happy to help.”
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, some ways to help protect yourself is to not pattern your own behavior, document and report incidents, change passwords and usernames, protect your location and address, limit the information about yourself that you are giving out, and control offline and online privacy.