We want you to feel safe and comfortable as a member of our campus community, so if you ever feel bullied, intimidated, or threatened in any way, please reach out to us. You can call PCC Police and Safety at (626) 585-7484 or visit our office in B210. We are here to help!
Has someone been bothering you in class or on campus? Unfortunately, even in college, people can be hurtful or intimidating—by bullying, stalking, giving you unwanted gifts or attention, or verbally threatening you.
This can come in many forms, but it usually involves someone trying to make you feel weak or powerless, and it usually happens more than once. For instance, if someone threatens you, spreads rumors about you, or insults you, that person is bullying you. To learn more about bullying and ways to prevent it, review the articles and resources included here or come visit us/give us a call. We can listen and help you find resources to approach this situation.
As a college student, it’s especially important to be aware of your surroundings. This way, you will be more likely to notice if someone is following you. A stalker might try to contact your friends, coworkers, or classmates to get your personal information; this is particularly easy for him or her to do on a college campus since most students have a consistent schedule each week during the semester. Campus stalkers might also use your social media posts or check-ins to keep track of your schedule, so consider keeping your personal daily activities as private as possible.
While it may seem unlikely that you’ll be stalked, a recent survey notes that more than one-in-eight female college students have had a stalker, yet only 17 percent of these young women actually notify campus authorities or local police. No one should have to experience this alone, so if you suspect someone has been stalking you, give us a call so we can support you.
You have a right to be protected, and to ensure your protection, stalking is considered a crime according to Penal Code Section 646.9. Here are some details to consider in case you are not sure (and remember, even if you’re not sure, it’s best to contact us right away):
- Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.
In other words, someone might be stalking you if he or she purposely and repeatedly acts in a way that scares or upsets you.
What will happen to me if I report a suspected stalker?
Since this can be such a frightening situation, there are helpful victim advocate programs that will assist you if a case is opened and prosecuted. During this process, we encourage you to share your experiences with trusted friends and family members, as well as with a counselor through PCC’s Psychological Services. It’s also important to keep track of everything about the stalker and the specific days, times and locations where you noticed the person. Were there any other people around who can attest to what you saw? If you feel comfortable enough, try asking them to write down what they saw. All of this will empower you make a strong case later on.
What if someone seems like he or she is just being friendly—but it’s making you uncomfortable? Other than bullying or stalking, unwanted attention can also be frightening or threatening behavior. If you feel uncomfortable in class or on campus because someone keeps giving you flowers or asking for your number, you can ask us for help. Even though it may seem nice at first, these kinds of advances can feel coercive, and you might feel afraid to say no to the person after he or she has been so friendly. It’s best to let someone know what’s happening because there’s a chance that the person’s gifts and attention could turn aggressive. Try calling us at (626) 585-7484 or just stop by the Police Services Department in B210. We can support you through this.
Verbal and Other Types of Threats
Have you ever felt unsafe in class or on campus because of something someone said? Maybe you weren't sure if he or she was actually threatening you. Verbal threats—whether direct or indirect—can be a first step toward other types of violence, so it's important to protect yourself by recognizing threats and responding to them effectively.
A direct threat might sound like this:
- “I’m going to follow you home,” or “you better watch your back after class.”
Or, someone might indirectly threaten you, the teacher, or the school:
- “I wish my teacher was dead,” or “I wish someone would pull a gun out during class.”
If anyone threatens you like this or in any other way, take it seriously.
You deserve to feel safe, so call us right away so we can help you. Either dial 911 from a campus telephone or dial (626) 585-7484—both of these will lead to staff at Police and Safety Services. If you feel able—and if there are other people around—try to keep the threatening person nearby so police can question that person. However, if you ever feel that you are in immediate danger, call 911 from a cellular phone for local emergency services and law enforcement.
What if you hear a rumor about another student’s threats?
It’s better to take these threats seriously and help prevent a violent act than to wait for the violence to occur—you have a right to say something because you have a right to be safe.
Has someone threatened you, only to leave the room or campus? You can still report the threat to campus police. We are eager to help, and you can help, too, by taking notes about the following:
- name of the threatening person (if known)
- exactly what the person said or did--as best as you can remember
- Include the date and time of the threat and where the person is now (if you know)
- female or male
- type and color of clothing
- body size
- hair color
- distinguishing features: tattoos, piercings, scars or freckles, or accessories like jewelry or a backpack.
By documenting some or all of this information, you can help us protect you from a frightening or threatening person. We are ready to do the rest!