Harassment or Stalking
Minnesota Statue 609.749 prohibits the harassment and stalking of any person. Harassment is defined as "means to engage in intentional conduct which: (1) the actor knows or has reason to know would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated: and (2) cause this reaction on the part of the victim".
What steps should you take if you are a victim?
Call the Police
This is the first thing you can do when a stalking incident occurs. Explain what happened and what threats were made against you. If you have incidents that occur at your residence, your job, or even where you go shopping, report these incidents to the Winona Police Department((507. 457-6368). If you are being stalked or harassed on campus you may also call Winona State University Security (507.457.5555). Security will coordinate investigations and other assistance when requested with local law enforcement agencies.
Keep a Notebook or Calendar
Record all of the detailed information about each encounter with a stalker. Your notes can refresh your memory later, should you need to speak with police or testify in court. Be sure to include the date, time, location, full description of the person, words spoken, actions taken during the incident, actions you took afterward and names of witnesses. You may wish to tape record threats made over the telephone or other encounters.
Should You Take Any Extra Precautions?
It is very hard to prevent crime, but you may be able to reduce the risk by taking extra precautions.
Your first defense against stalking is to have a heightened awareness of what is happening around you. You may want to tell others about the threat as well, i.e. neighbors and family members. Ask them to keep an eye out for strange occurrences.
Where Can I Go for Help?
Many organizations within the community are able to offer advice and assistance if you become a victim of harassment/stalking. You need to feel safe and must make a decision whether to seek assistance. If in need of help one of the agencies listed below can assist you.
Winona Police Department: (Non-Emergency) 507.457.6302
Winona Police Department: (Emergency) 911 (dial 9-911 from on campus)
Winona State Security: 457-5555
Women's Resource Center: 452-4440
WSU Counseling Center: 457-5330