“Perfect Guy” release sparks conversation about stalking

Discussions surrounding stalking have recently been brought up through the release of Sony’s “The Perfect Guy.” Photo By: The Perfect Guy/Facebook

Discussions surrounding stalking have recently been brought up through the release of Sony’s “The Perfect Guy.”
Photo By: The Perfect Guy/Facebook

By: Quinton R. Arthur

Stalking is an issue  displayed in the recently released film, “The Perfect Guy.” In the movie, Michael Ealy plays Carter Duncan, an excessive ex-lover of Leah Vaughnn, played by Sanaa Lathan. Though the movie is fiction, the theme of stalking is an all too common reality for many, which needs to be taken serious as a crime.

The movie brought into question the threat of stalking. Before serious action was taken, Duncan was able to overstep his boundaries with Vaughnn in various ways. This included constantly calling her from different numbers, showing up unannounced at her job, and being at places where she would be. Stalking can lead to other acts of a domestically unhealthy relationship, such as harassment and acts of violence.

Traditionally, stalking has been viewed as in person ordeal. It can also be through a third party, and with the  advancement  of technology, it can be electronic through texting, social media, etc.

“I’ve had an ex create fake accounts just to send me messages,” said one Roosevelt student. “I didn’t view it as a crime, but more so as annoying.”

While the response may seem innocent, individuals share personal information on social media, such as places they frequent, phone numbers and addresses, which allows stalkers to take advantage of the situation.  

According to Roosevelt University’s Student Code of Conduct, stalking is defined as harassing or threatening another person to the point where that individual fears for their safety or the safety of their family.

Jamar Orr, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Specialist, deals with issues of student safety on campus.

“In simpler terms, when a person begins to fear for their safety because of the behavior of another,” said Orr. “It becomes a conflict with the Student Code of Conduct.”

Fortunately, stalking is not a common occurrence at Roosevelt University. The 2013/2014 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report indicated that there were zero incidents of reported stalking that occurred.

        On the simpler end of things, telling a person you no longer wished to be bothered, blocking them from communicating with you, and avoiding contact seems like  a proactive solution. However, persistent, unwanted communication can cause mental and emotional distress to individuals. If long lasting damage can be proven if the actions continue, then a temporary restraining order can be issued until a trial in which to apply permanent measures is decided.

The age-old rule to go by is “no means no” applies not only in situations where sex is involved, but also in communication.

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