Awareness Months

January is Stalking Awareness Month (SAM)

What is SAM?

Stalking Awareness Month (SAM) is a national observance in January that aims to raise awareness and coordinate efforts to fight stalking.

At UNC, stalking is defined as a "course of conduct . . . directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person . . . to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress."

Stalking can take many forms. It is not always based on a current, previous, or desired romantic relationship. Stalking can happen between people who know each other or who are strangers. It can happen through direct or indirect contact or through other people by any action, method, device, or means to follow, monitor, observe, surveil, threaten, or communicate to or about another person.  People often associate stalking with following, lurking, and spying. These are forms of stalking, but stalking can also be carried out through technology, including social media.

Stalking behaviors can include:

  • Sending repeated, unwanted calls, texts, emails, letters, and/or social media messages
  • Creating fake social media accounts or profiles to communicate, monitor, and/or impersonate
  • Using multiple social media platforms to engage in unwanted contact, monitoring, information gathering, and/or communication
  • Repeatedly showing up at someone’s home, workplace, class, or social gathering space
  • Leaving unwanted gifts or letters
  • Damaging property
  • Monitoring or tracking of someone’s location
  • Using information obtained at work to engage in unwanted personal communication, tracking, monitoring, and/or contact

Healthy relationships require all parties to recognize and respect boundaries. This includes recognizing when communication is unwanted or not reciprocated. For example, blocking someone on one social media platform is not an invitation to access that person on a different platform. If you are unsure whether your communication is welcomed, you should ask. Be sure to respect the response, especially if it is not the answer you hoped to receive.

There are various University resources available to individuals experiencing stalking. These resources may also be helpful if someone is concerned about their own behavior and/or the behavior of friends or peers. For more information and resources for those who are experiencing stalking or other prohibited conduct, visit safe.unc.edu.

Stalking Awareness Month Events and Initiatives

SAM Tabling: Wednesday, January 18 from 10am-2pm

Tabling locations at Davis Library Courtyard and Michael Hooker Atrium

Healthy Breakups Workshop: Wednesday, January 25 from 5-6:30pm

Workshop location in Union 3209

Let's face it, breakups are hard. In this 90-minute workshop, participants will learn how to navigate difficult post-breakup conversations, set healthy boundaries with exes, and create self-care plans. We'll also discuss how to identify unhealthy breakup behaviors and prevent them from escalating into stalking or abuse. Register here: https://unc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a9KU3y8Z6KQwkuy

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

October is Relationship Violence Awareness Month (RVAM)

What is RVAM?

Relationship Violence Awareness Month (RVAM), also known as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is a national observance in October that aims to raise awareness and coordinate efforts to fight relationship violence.

At UNC, interpersonal violence (including intimate partner violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and relationship violence) is defined as a broad range of abusive behavior committed by a person who is or has been:

  • In a romantic or intimate relationship with the Reporting Party (of the same or different sex);
  • The *Reporting Party’s spouse or partner (of the same or different sex);
  • The Reporting Party’s family member; or
  • The Reporting Party’s cohabitant or household member, including a roommate.

Interpersonal violence includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions, attempted actions, or threats of actions that would cause a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others or to experience substantial emotional distress. Such behaviors may include, but are not limited to, physical violence and threats of violence to one’s self, one’s family member, or one’s pet. Learn more about Interpersonal Violence and other forms of prohibited conduct by visiting the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct.

*Reporting Party: Any individual who reports experiencing unwanted or discriminatory behavior (including interpersonal or relationship violence, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking) prohibited by UNC Chapel Hill’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct or Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment under Title IX

RVAM Events and Initiatives

Throughout the month of October, offices across campus will host different opportunities for you to learn more about RVAM. Please take a look at the calendar of events below for more information. Check back in throughout October as more events will be added!

Be That Friend Survey: Open Online from 10/3 to 10/31

Relationship Dos and Donuts: Wednesday, October 5 from 12-2pm in the Union Plaza

Be That Friend Tabling: Tuesday, October 11 and Wednesday, October 12 from 10am-2pm in the Davis Library Courtyard

Be That Friend Workshop: Thursday, October 13 from 12-1:30pm in Union 3203

Relationship Dos and Donuts: Thursday, October 13 from 12-2pm in the Union Plaza

Be That Friend Tabling: Tuesday, October 25 and Wednesday, October 26 from 10am-2pm in the Davis Library Courtyard

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