Stalking

Winona State University is determined to provide a campus environment free of violence for all members of the campus community.  For this reason, Winona State University does not tolerate stalking, and will pursue the perpetrators of such acts to the fullest extent possible.  Winona State University is also committed to supporting victims of stalking through the appropriate provision of safety and support services. 

Stalking incidents are occurring at an alarming rate on the nation’s college campuses.  It is a crime that happens to men and women of all races/ethnicities, religions, ages, abilities, sexual orientations, and sexual identity.  It is a crime that can affect every aspect of a victim’s life.  Stalking often begins with phone calls, emails, social networking posts and/or letters and sometimes escalates to violence.

Minnesota State Law defines stalking as  “…means to engage in conduct which the actor knows or has reason to know would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated, and causes this reaction on the part of the victim regardless of the relationship between the actor and victim.”

Federal legislation defines stalking as conduct directed at a specific person that is unwanted, unwelcome, or unreciprocated and that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her or his safety or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Stalking includes but is not limited to the following

  • Non-consensual communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, social networking site postings, instant messages, posting of pictures or information on Web sites, written letters, gifts, or any other communication that are undesired and/or place another person in fear.
  • Following, pursuing, waiting, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom, or other locations frequented by a victim.
  • Surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means.
  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism
  • Non-consensual touching
  • Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a victim or a victim’s loved ones
  • Gathering of information about a victim from family, friends, co-workers, and/or classmates
  • Manipulative and controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself, or threats to harm someone close to the victim
  • Defamation or slander against the victim

What To Do If You Are Being Stalked

  • Trust your instincts.  Victims of stalking often feel pressured by friends or family to downplay the stalker’s behavior, but stalking poses a real threat of harm.  Your safety is paramount.
  • Keep a record or log of each contact with the stalker.  Be sure to also document any police reports.
  • Stalkers often use technology to contact their victims. Save all emails, text messages, photos, and posting on social networking sites as evidence of the stalking behavior.
  • Get connected with a local advocate to talk through your options and discuss safety planning.

To report a stalking incident contact one of the agencies and/or individuals listed below.  

Winona Police Department  507.457.6492  Emergency (911)   
Winona State University Security   507.457.5555  
Director of Security - Chris Cichosz
 507.457.5158 CCichosz@winona.edu 
Assistant Director of Security - Scott Bestul  507.457.5554 SDbestul@winona.edu
Affirmative Action (WSU)  507.457.2766

LMikl@winona.edu 

Members of the campus community wishing to speak with an advocate should contact one of the following organizations listed below.

Visit the Sexual Violence website or call the Gender Based-Violence Hot Line  507.457.5610 
 Women's Resource Center  507.452.4440

Additional Information can be obtained from the Stalking Resource Center.