Information About Stalking

Developed by Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence

What is Stalking?

Stalking can be defined in several ways: by its general meaning; by the criminal statute; and by the Protection from Stalking Act.

Generally, stalking is thought of as a pattern of harassing, threatening, or intimidating conduct that makes another fear for her/his safety. It does not necessarily involve physical contact but can escalate to such behavior. Stalkers can be strangers, acquaintances, friends, family members, or intimate partners.

In Kansas, as in most other states, stalking is a crime. Criminal stalking is engaging in "a course of conduct targeted at a specific person which would cause a reasonable person to fear for such person's safety or the safety of a member of such person's immediate family and the targeted person is actually placed in such fear." K.S.A. 21-3438.

"Stalking" is defined differently for purposes of the Kansas Protection from Stalking Act. Under this Act, "stalking" is the "intentional harassment of another person that places the other person in reasonable fear for that person's safety." K.S.A. 60-31a01 et seq.

For more information on stalking laws in Kansas or for legal advice, you should seek the assistance of an advocate or attorney.

Activities NOT Considered Stalking

Some activities that may seem to fit this description may actually be constitutionally protected behavior, and are not subject to stalking laws, such as:

  • picketing or demonstrations
  • private detective work
  • law enforcement duties
  • activities with a legitimate purpose

While this all may sound complicated, the important thing to keep in mind is this: If you believe someone is stalking you, you should think about seeking help. You could be in physical danger. There are several things you can do to try to increase your safety, some of which will be discussed in this brochure.

How Common Is Stalking?

No one knows just how common stalking is, as there has been little data collected by law enforcement officials. In the United States, it is estimated that over 1 million women and 370,000 men will be stalked each year.

Stalking has existed for a long time but has only recently been labeled as a separate and distinct behavior; different from harassment or domestic violence, for example.

Stalking can be dangerous. Twenty-two percent of all stalkers sexually assault their victims. Some stalkers have killed or seriously wounded their victims.

Stalkers and their victims can be of any age, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or gender. However, some research has shown much higher incidents of Native American women being stalked.

The majority of stalkers are men, and most of them stalk women. Even men are more likely to be stalked by men than by women.

Stalking can also be done by electronic means, such as through email, voice mail, and text messages. Stalkers have also been known to post things about their victim on the internet, subjecting the victim to a broad range of different types of harassment. Stalking through the use of technology is increasingly common.

Stalking of a particular victim can last for short periods of time or can continue for many years.

What Can You Do If You Are Being Stalked?

There are no easy answers to this question. First and foremost, you should think about your safety. Here are some other things to consider:

  • Report the stalking to your local law enforcement agency. While officers may not have enough evidence to arrest the stalker, it is important to develop this "official" record of the stalking behavior. If a law enforcement report is made, the information may become public.
  • Some stalkers believe there are hidden messages within conversations they have with their victims that encourage them to continue the stalking. Some experts suggest that if your stalker is a former intimate partner or someone who believes you want to be in a relationship, you must be clear and firm early on about wanting to end the relationship. The longer the relationship goes on, the harder it is for the stalker to get the message that you are not interested.
  • If the stalking has continued for a long time, some believe it is best for the victim to cease all communication with the stalker. Instead, let the "system" communicate with him through a law enforcement officer, probation officer, or through a protection order.
  • A protection from stalking order may or may not be effective in ending the stalking. These orders may be most effective if issued when the stalking behavior first begins. They also appear to be most effective in communities where violations of the order are taken very seriously by law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges. If these situations do not apply to you, you may want to consider whether a protection order will help or hurt your situation. Call your local domestic violence/sexual assault program in Kansas (see list) for further information and for a brochure explaining how to get a protection from stalking order.
  • In some situations, further contact between the victim and the stalker, tends to encourage the stalker. Therefore, if you can, try to avoid the following:
    • mediatio
    • joint therapy
    • shared custody
    • face-to-face child exchanges
    • protection orders (which will require a face-to-face hearing)
  • Keep a log of all stalking behaviors, including the following (see Incident Log):
    • date of incident
    • times and places the incidents occurred
    • description of stalking behavior
    • witnesses to the incident
  • If you believe you may be in imminent danger, develop a safety plan, taking into consideration the following:
    • critical phone numbers, such as law enforcement, friends, domestic violence or sexual assault programs
    • critical phone numbers and contact information for other important people or services you may need after reaching a safe location, such as neighbors, attorneys, prosecutors, medical care, child care, or pet care
    • keep a reserve of necessities in case you have to leave your home quickly, such as a suitcase in the trunk of your car or at a friend's house; include money, medication, toys or items important to the children
    • consider having important documents such as passports, immigration documents, birth certificates, and social security numbers readily accessible
    • alert people who may be part of your safety plan, such as law enforcement, employers, family, friends, neighbors, or security personnel
  • Consider whether any of the following measures would help decrease or prevent some of the dangers connected to stalking:
    • installing solid core doors with dead bolts
      - changing locks, securing all spare keys
    • installing outside lighting
      - trimming bushes and vegetation around your residence
    • identifying locations that may be safe for you, such as police stations, residences of family/friends, local churches, or other public places
    • getting an unlisted number or, if you have financial means, using a "dummy" answering machine connected to your published phone line. The private or unlisted number can be reserved for close friends or family and the stalker may not realize you have another line
    • varying travel routes and other routines
      - limiting time walking or jogging alone
    • informing a trusted neighbor about the situation and, if possible, giving them a description or a photo of the stalker, asking them to call law enforcement if they see anything unusual
  • Sexual assault and domestic violence programs may be able to provide you with additional help and information (see list). The Stalking Resource Center can also provide you with information on stalking. The web address is www.ncvc.org/src/ or you may call 1-800-FYI-CALL (394-2255).

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If you are in danger, call 911.


INCIDENT LOG

Download PDF version.
Download Word version.

Use this log to keep a record of stalking incidents.

Date:_____________________________
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Date:_____________________________
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Witnesses:________________________________________________________________________________________
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Date:_____________________________
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Date:_____________________________
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Important Phone Numbers

Crisis Hotline
Law Enforcement
Prosecutor
Prosecutor Address
Case #
Friend
Neighbor
Day Care
Emergency Healthcare

Kansas Sexual and Domestic Violence Programs

Programs are listed below alphabetically by city with their HOTLINE phone numbers. The numbers on the map correspond to the programs listed. Call the program nearest you. You do not have to live in the city where the program is located to use their services.

image map image map image map Image Map

DV = domestic violence services provided
SA = sexual assault services provided

CITYSERVICESKCSDV MEMBER PROGRAMCRISIS HOTLINE NUMBER 
1. Atchison DV/SA DoVES 800-367-7075 or 913-367-0363 Back to map
2. Dodge City DV/SA Crisis Center of Dodge City 620-225-6510 Back to map
3. El Dorado DV/SA Family Life Center of Butler County 800-870-6967 or 316-321-7104 Back to map
4. Emporia DV/SA SOS, Inc. 800-825-1295 or 620-342-1870 Back to map
5. Garden City DV/SA Family Crisis Services 800-275-0535 or 620-275-5911 Back to map
6. Great Bend DV/SA Family Crisis Center 866-792-1885 or 620-792-1885 Back to map
7. Hays DV/SA Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Inc. 800-794-4624 or 785-625-3055 Back to map
8. Hutchinson DV/SA Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Center 800-701-3630 or 620-663-2522 Back to map
9. Iola DV/SA Hope Unlimited 620-365-7566 Back to map
10. Kansas City - Wyandotte Cnty DV Friends of Yates Joyce Williams Center 913-321-0951 Back to map
11. Kansas City - Johnson Cnty DV Safehome 888-432-4300 or 913-262-2868 Back to map
12. Kansas City DV El Centro, Inc. ¡Si Se Puede! 913-281-1186 Back to map
13. Kansas City DV/SA KCAVP 816-561-0550 Back to map
14. Kansas City SA MOCSA 816-531-0233 Back to map
15. Lawrence SA GaDuGi Safe Center 785-843-8985 Back to map
16. Lawrence DV The Willow Domestic Violence Center 800-770-3030 or 785-843-3333 Back to map
17. Leavenworth DV/SA Alliance Against Family Violence 800-644-1441 or 913-682-9131 Back to map
18. Liberal DV/SA Liberal Area Rape Crisis and DV Services 620-624-8818 Back to map
19. Manhattan DV/SA The Crisis Center, Inc. 800-727-2785 or 785-539-2785 Back to map
20. Mayetta DV/SA Prairie Band Potawatomi Family Violence Prevention Program 866-966-0173 or 785-966-8330 Back to map
21. Newton DV/SA Harvey County DV/SA Task Force 800-487-0510 or 316-283-0350 Back to map
22. Pittsburg DV/SA Safehouse Crisis Center, Inc. 800-794-9148 or 620-231-8251 Back to map
23. Salina DV/SA Domestic Violence Assoc. of Central Kansas 800-874-1499 or 785-827-5862 Back to map
24. Topeka DV/SA YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment 888-822-2983 or dia 785-354-7927 o tarde / fin de semana 785-234-3330 Back to map
25. Wichita DV Catholic Charities Harbor House 866-899-5522 or 316-263-6000 Back to map
26. Wichita DV StepStone 316-265-1611 Back to map
27. Wichita SA Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center 316-263-3002 Back to map
28. Wichita DV YWCA Women's Crisis Center 316-267-7233 Back to map
29. Winfield DV/SA Safe Homes, Inc. 800-794-7672 or 620-221-4357 Back to map

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