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Model Campus Stalking Policy Released by National Center for Victims of Crime and CALCASA

February 9, 2011

Liz Joyce
(202) 467-8729

Washington, DC: The Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime and the California Coalition against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) announce the release of a Model Campus Stalking Policy to guide colleges and universities in responding to the crime of stalking on their campuses.

The document, a response to frequent technical assistance requests to the Stalking Resource Center and CALCASA from U.S. campuses, describes the crime of stalking and presents the elements of a policy that administrators can adapt to meet individual campus needs.

Stalking presents unique challenges to campus authorities because the crime can be difficult to recognize and address. Stalking is not a one-time event but a series of actions that may escalate and lead to violence, including physical and sexual assault. Persons ages 18 to 24 (the average age of college students) experience the highest rates of stalking victimization.

More than 13 percent of college women in one study had been stalked during the previous academic year, and the majority of stalking incidents (more than 83 percent) were not reported to police or campus law enforcement.

Although the perpetrators of these crimes are often repeat offenders, campuses may not grasp the seriousness of the crime and its impact on their students. "We are pleased to share this invaluable guide with campus leaders," said Mai Fernandez, executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. "Because institutions with stalking policies are better equipped to protect their students, we hope many campuses will use the Model Stalking Campus Policy to design the approach that works best for them."

The essential elements of a campus stalking policy include a statement of purpose, a definition of stalking, the jurisdiction covered by the policy, a list of stalking behaviors, clearly outlined reporting procedures, and information on safety accommodations for victims. Optional policy elements include statements of victims' rights, statement of the rights of the accused, the campus disciplinary process, and a description of the privacy and notification process. The document includes both essential and optional sample policies.

"We are inspired that so many campuses have sought the Stalking Resource Center's help in shaping their policies," said Michelle Garcia, director of the Stalking Resource Center. "We encourage administrators and

students to act on these recommendations and to seek further information and training from us as they improve their response to this dangerous crime."

The Model Campus Stalking Policy may be downloaded by clicking here, or e-mailing src@ncvc.org to request a printed copy. More information about stalking is available at www.ncvc.org/src.

The mission of the Stalking Resource Center, established in 2000 with support from the Office on Violence Against Women at the United States Department of Justice, is to raise national awareness of stalking and encourage the development and implementation of multidisciplinary responses to stalking in local communities across the country.

The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, founded in 1980, is the only statewide organization in California whose sole purpose is to promote public policy, advocacy, training, and technical assistance on the issue of sexual assault and provide the unifying vision and voice to all Californians speaking out against sexual violence.

The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation's struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives. For more information, visit www.ncvc.org.