Stalking: Get Support
If You Have Experienced an Incidence of Stalking In Person and/or Online
It can be important to find a place where you feel comfortable and safe from harm. This location could be:
- Friend’s room
- Local hospital
- Police station
Trust your instincts. Do not go home or to your residence hall alone if you think you are being followed. Use nearby stores, emergency departments and other publicly visible areas, including Public Safety.
Find a Safe Haven location near the Morningside, Manhattanville, and Medical Center campuses to seek help with contacting Public Safety or the police.
If you would like to have a survivor advocate meet or accompany you to a local hospital or New York City police precinct, call (212) 854-4357 (24/7, 365 days a year).
Call 911 for immediate police protection and assistance.
- Barnard Public Safety: (212) 854-6666
- Manhattanville Public Safety: (212) 853-3333
- Medical Center Public Safety: (212) 305-7979
- Teachers College Public Safety: (212) 678-3333
If you are being stalked or threatened, or have immediate concerns about your personal safety, Public Safety also provides a Walking Safety Escort Service.
Call a confidential Survivor Advocate or Peer Advocate from Sexual Violence Response, (212) 854-4357 (available 24/7/365). You have the option of working with a staff survivor advocate or, when available, a peer advocate. Both are confidential and certified by the New York City Department of Health to address issues of violence. They can provide crisis intervention and will discuss options for reporting and seeking medical help. They help survivors make informed decisions about their medical, legal, and disciplinary options. Advocates can accompany students to on- and off-campus resources such as hospital emergency departments, the police, the district attorney's office, and Columbia Public Safety.
To speak with non-Columbia resources, you may call any of these hotlines for assistance. These include local and national resources for survivors of stalking and other forms of gender- and power-based violence.
A safety plan includes personalized, concrete steps you can take to reduce the possibility of being harmed, whether physically or emotionally, by an abusive partner.
- Cease all contact with your stalker.
- Change your locks and install security devices.
- Plan what you will do and where you will stay if your stalker shows up at your home, your class, or your job. Vary your routine if at all possible.
- Alert friends, roommates, classmates, family, and other trustworthy people in your life so that the stalker cannot elicit information from them.
- Instruct your school or place of work not to disclose your contact information.
- Change passwords for cell phones, email accounts, and social networking sites; do not post your location on social networking sites and make your profiles private.
- Take any threats seriously.
- Utilize safety tips from the National Center for Victims of Crime: Stalking Resource Center
- When technology is being used by the stalker, utilize resources at the National Network to End Domestic Violence
Call a professional Survivor Advocate or Peer Advocate from Sexual Violence Response to assist you in creating a safety plan, (212) 854-4357 (available 24/7/365).
- Keep a log with all stalking incidents including date, time, location, what happened, and any witnesses who may have been present.
- Be sure to save anything the stalker sends you, including packages and letters, as well as electronic documentation, such as emails, social media messages and text messages.
- If possible, preserve unwanted digital contact in its original form rather than as recordings or screenshots. However, screenshots are at times the only option.
- Photograph evidence of trespassing, property damage or unwanted gifts.
Counseling is often helpful for survivors because it provides a safe place to talk about your experience and your feelings.
You may choose to speak with an advocate to enlist confidential support around:
- Legal information and options:
- Information about your rights in NY State and options available to you (both on- and off-campus)
- Enlisting the aid of law enforcement
- Filing a complaint with the Office of University Life and Community Standards
- Court advocacy or assistance obtaining legal representation
- Assistance drafting a victim impact statement
- On-campus accommodations (Housing, Academic, Financial)
- On- and off-campus referrals (mental health, follow up care, healing support)
- Remembering it's not your fault
- Identifying a friend or other support person to be by your side