Dixie State University campus police are investigating a stalking incident that happened Feb. 27.
Ron Isaacson, campus police assistant director, said the female student was walking home when someone came from behind a dumpster near the St. George Community Church parking lot at 800 East 100 South around 3 a.m. Isaacson said the man was dressed in all black clothing.
Campus Police Director Don Reid said the student wasn’t sure what the man wanted. She said she thought he started walking faster behind her so she proceeded to run, Reid said. The student made it home safely, Reid said.
The student who filed the police report declined to comment.
“We don’t have any leads to follow, but we are aware of what’s going on,” Isaacson said. “I mean, it could be anybody.”
So far this semester, campus police haven’t received any other stalking reports. According to Colorado State University, more than 13 percent of college women have indicated that they had been stalked during one college year, and three in 10 college women report being injured emotionally or psychologically from being stalked on college campuses. However, these numbers may be a lot higher because according to Elizabeth Kulze’s 2015 article, “On-Campus Stalking is the Issue You’re Not Hearing About,” nearly 75 percent of college stalking victims forgo contacting law enforcement.
Although campus police offered to escort the student home every night, there are other precautions students should take into consideration. John Goff, owner and chief instructor of Evolution Martial Arts Academy, said students need to keep their eyes and hands free, especially when walking home alone.
Try the best you can to stay near a well-lit area or walk with a friend at night, Goff said.
“Even walking with a dog has shown to lower the chances of an assault because they don’t know if it will attack them,” Goff said.
Students can also use their keys as a way to protect themselves.
“Try to lock your keys in your fist so it’s almost acting as a knife in your hand,” Goff said.
People also need to ensure there’s enough distance between them and another person they may feel threatened by, Goff said.
“If there’s a confrontation or if you’re in danger, never turn your back on them,” Goff said.
For those who may have witnessed what happened or are approached while walking home, call 435-652-7515 for the campus police office.