Stalking is a legal term for repeated harassment or other forms of invasion of your privacy that results in fear or danger. Pennsylvania law states that stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct, including following you without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place you in physical harm or to cause substantial emotional distress.

A letter of warning from your attorney or a call from the police to an alleged stalker or person harassing you is sometimes all it takes to get that person to stop. This action can serve as a first step in stopping the harassment the next time it happens.

A person commits the crime of harassment when, with intent to harass, annoy or create fear, he or she: Subjects the other person to physical contact, or attempts/threatens to do the same; Follows the other person in or about a public place or places; Communicates to or about the victim with any lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings or caricatures; Communicates
repeatedly in an anonymous manner or at extremely inconvenient hours, etc.

For more information, visit:

Sexual Harassment at Work and School
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination occurring when there is deliberate or repeated use of sexual comments, attempted physical contact, or actual physical contact in the workplace or academic environment that creates a hostile environment for the recipient. Sexual harassment involves knowledge that a sex-based condition is being imposed in exchange for personal advancement, academic achievement, or any other benefit.

Sexual harassment is also a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments, schools, and universities. Title VII covers both intentional and unintentional acts of discrimination in the workplace.

Sexual harassment may be defined as unsolicited, offensive behavior that inappropriately asserts sexuality over status as a student or employee. It includes practices ranging from direct requests for sexual favors, to workplace conditions that create a hostile environment for persons of either gender, including same sex harassment. When it occurs in the classroom or in the workplace, sexual harassment can threaten a person’s academic status and economic livelihood. It is important to recognize that the victims of sexual harassment are primarily, but not exclusively, women, and that sexual harassment takes many different forms.

If you find yourself being harassed, tell the perpetrator directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must cease immediately.

The following strategies may also be employed:

  • Keep a written record of what happened and when it took place
  • Determine whether any other students or co-workers have been
    harassed. Support makes for a stronger position when making a
    formal complaint
  • Seek support from a trusted friend

Learn how to combat verbal and physical forms of harassment by enrolling in assertiveness training and self-defense classes

You should tell your employer by using the appropriate grievance reporting system. For more information, call the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at (800) USA-EEOC or visit You can also call the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission at (717) 787-4410 or visit

For further information on grievance procedures, campus-wide contacts, and where to go to register complaints about sexual harassment, contact your campus counseling center.

Many universities offer an online training program for preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Check with your school’s human relations office to gain access to the program. The primary goal of these courses is to enable both students and faculty to identify prohibited harassing behaviors, including sexual harassment.

Victims can also contact the Victim’s Resource Center in Pennsylvania, toll-free at (866) 206-9050 or online at The Center provides a 24-hour phone hotline, 24-hour response to medical requests, support groups and counseling. The Center is private, confidential, and its services are free.

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) is an organization working at the state and national levels to prevent sexual violence. If you have been a victim of sexual violence and are seeking information, referral or resources, call their toll free hotline at (888) 772-7227.

If you are a victim, you may be eligible for monetary and other compensation for most crimes committed in Pennsylvania or involving a Pennsylvania resident. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may be entitled to protection from the court. Victims have a right to have input in a criminal’s sentencing.

Joint Purchases
If you are in a serious relationship and make significant joint purchases, including the purchase of pets, you should set up a written agreement, often called a co-habitation agreement. This will help both partners protect their money and belongings, particularly should the relationship end.

If you have an intimate relationship that produces a child, both parents usually have an equal right to custody of the child. This means that neither parent has a superior right to custody unless a judge so orders. If a court grants one parent physical custody, the other parent is usually entitled to partial physical custody or visitation and is next in line to exercise physical custody rights if the custodial parent becomes unable to care for the child. If your relationship produces a child, you may have to pay to support that child, even if you are a full-time college student and even if the pregnancy was unplanned, accidental, or followed a woman’s misrepresentation regarding her ability to produce a child. The role of parent is always a person’s first financial and legal obligation.