Allegations of stalking, like those against Virginia Tech gunman Seung Hui Cho, are common on college campuses, reports USA Today. The most widely cited national survey, published in 2000, found that 13% of college women said they had been stalked in the previous seven months, says the study’s primary author. Stalking is generally defined as a repeated pattern of behavior or conduct that causes a reasonable person to feel fear.
The problem has not diminished since that survey, says Mary Lou Leary, executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. Specialists in violence against women still quote the survey. “Stalking is definitely a problem on college campuses,” says Alison Kiss, program director for the non-profit group Security on Campus. “And it usually escalates, just like dating violence.” At Virginia Tech, the two women who complained about Cho declined to press charges, campus police say.