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Stalking falls closer to physical violence, injury, and death at the end of the Johns Hopkins Continuum of Disruptive Behaviors at Work, along with other moderate to severely disruptive behaviors such as bullying, making threats, and domestic/intimate partner violence. Stalking behavior may include individuals who harass and follow, and give unwanted attention and gifts. Stalking is somewhat different from other behaviors on the continuum because the stalker may or may not be part of the Johns Hopkins community.

It is important to recognize these behaviors, and to say something if you see any of them so that they don’t escalate and cause a greater risk of harm to faculty, staff, students, and the community. In the workplace and academic environment, co-workers and fellow students often know about incidents of stalking and are in the best position to elevate the situation for help. Stalking should be reported immediately.

Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System have adopted policies that call for zero tolerance of violent behavior, threats, bully, and intimidation. Johns Hopkins will not permit employment-based retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, brings a complaint of workplace violence or who speaks as a witness in the investigation of a complaint of workplace violence.

Specific Actions Associated with Stalking

The National Center for Victims of Crime defines stalking as any one of or a combination of these behaviors:

  • A pattern of repeated, unwanted attention, harassment, and contact which may include following or lying in wait for the victim
  • Repeated unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communication by phone, mail, e-mail, text, or social media
  • Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, their children, relatives, friends, or pets
  • Sending unwanted gifts

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime fact sheet:

  • 6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.
  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
  • The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.  66% of female victims and 41% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
  • 54% of female victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers
  • 1 in 8 employed stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization and more than half lose 5 or more days of work.

Awareness means understanding that behaviors left unchecked can escalate into violence.  If there is a behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore it.  Take action well before the point at which violence might occur. If you or someone you know is concerned about any of these behaviors, contact your supervisor or academic advisor, human resources/labor relations, Security, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, or the Workplace Risk Assessment program manager at .