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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, coworkers 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.

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, email, text, or social media
  • Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, their children, relatives, friends, or pets
  • Sending unwanted gifts

Awareness means understanding that behaviors left unchecked can escalate into violence. If you experience or observe stalking, don’t ignore it. Take action well before the point at which violence might occur. Contact your supervisor, manager, academic advisor, human resources professional or security who should notify a member of the multidisciplinary Risk Assessment Team either in person, by phone, or using the Report a Threat or Risk form.

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.