SAPA presentation informs students on dangers of stalking


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Holland junior Lindsey Trusty gives facts about stalking during a stalking awareness presentation hosted by Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates in the Bovee University Center on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates presented information on stalking last night. They shared how stalking is much different from harassment, and is not taken seriously by society. 

About 60 people attended the stalking awareness presentation in the Bovee University Center auditorium. SAPA members shared facts about how many people stalking actually affects, which is one out of six women and one out of 19 men who will experience getting stalked in their lifetime. 

Salt Lake City freshman Laurel Condé said she found the presentation very informational. 

“The program was entertaining, informative and necessary for people of all ages," she said. "Stalking is often an act that is joked about, so by having these programs, SAPA is able to shed light on a topic that is rarely taken seriously.” 

Condé was alarmed by the statistics of stalking, specifically the fact that most often stalking survivors know their perpetrators.

SAPA member Kathleen Trombley discussed ways to avoid having a stalker and steps to take if it does happen. 

“Be careful about how much personal stuff you put on social media, contact police immediately and save all communications by keeping a log of what the stalker is doing and where," she said. "Keeping a log of all information can help you file a Personal Protection Order against the stalker. Reporting a serious situation like this immediately is important to anyone for their own safety so it doesn’t get out of control."

Music videos like “Animals” by Maroon 5 and “Stuck Like Glue” by Sugarland were also examined in the presentation. The videos showed singers stalking someone they “liked” by following them around, taking pictures of them and making the stalking process seem more like a fun game. 

SAPA member Lindsey Trusty said survivors of stalking are more likely to suffer from anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction and severe depression.

The presentation informed students that following, repeated calling and damaging property are all examples of stalking that can occur, but there are many lesser-known forms of stalking that go beyond physically following a person made possible by new technology.

A computer application called "Flex iSPY," allows total invasion of privacy by letting users obtain access to texts, calls, camera and other cell phone features of anyone they choose. By having someone's phone for as little as ten minutes, the Flex iSPY application gives total access to someone’s phone to any user.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of stalking or feels as if some of these examples pertain to them, SAPA is available by e-mail sapa@cmich.edu or their 24-Hour Helpline (989)774-2255.

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