What constitutes an obscene, harassing, or threatening phone call?
Obscene or Harassing phone calls are defined by Oklahoma Criminal Statute 21-1172, which states: "any comment, request, suggestion, or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent."
Threatening phone calls are defined as: "a telephone call, whether or not conversation ensues, with intent to put the party called in fear of physical harm or death; without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person at the called number."
The OCU Student Handbook specifies that on-campus residents have the right to "confront another's behavior that infringes on your rights;" this includes hazing, physical abuse, coercion, and/or any other conduct that threatens or endangers any member of the University.
Although the telephone has become a necessity, many people experience unwanted phone calls. The best practice when dealing with an unwanted caller is to HANG UP. In most, cases, if you do not talk or listen to an unwanted caller, they will stop calling. Isolated incidents of hang-ups, heavy breathing, or wrong numbers DO NOT require a police response or further investigation. You should exhaust every possible option before reporting an annoying or harassing phone call as a crime.
What Can You Do About Obscene, Harassing, or Threatening Phone Calls?
- NEVER give out your personal information, during an unsolicited phone survey or sales promotion.
- Consider an unlisted number by suppressing your information in the Campus Directory.
- Caller ID is a great way to screen calls. Instruct your roommate to answer only calls from numbers they recognize.
- Voice Mail is also a good way to discourage unwanted callers. Your outgoing message should never reveal any personal information, such as your name or room number.
- If you recieve an unwanted call, HANG UP! In most cases, the person will not call back unless you talk or listen to them when they call.
- Call Blocking is another great way to stop unwanted calls. Callers from the numbers on your list will recieve a call-blocked message. Check with your local telephone service provider to see if call blocking is available.
- Chronic cases, or cases that involve threats or stalking should be reported immediately to the OCU Police Department or the Oklahoma City Police. The calls must be excessive and threatening, and you must be willing to prosecute and come to court.
If you believe you are recieving obscene, harassing, or threatening phone calls, and wish to contact the Police, you should do the following:
- Provide the investigating officer with an accurate date/time log of calls you receive. This log will be used to identify the person responsible and establish a pattern of the calls received.
- Any calls received after the initial report should be recorded on the log. However, if the caller escalates to threats or stalking, contact the Police
- Be prepared to provide the officer with as much detailed information as possible, including the contents of voice-mail, specific statements and phone numbers from your Caller ID.
Click Here for a Call Log (.pdf)