Most people think that stalkers only follow celebrities, but these incidents make up a small number of cases. About 40% of victims are stalked by people who they used to be in a relationship with, and another third are victims to people they already know.
What is stalking?
Stalking is classed as any behaviour from another person which is persistent, unwanted and causes you any kind of fear or anxiety. It covers a wide range of activities, including unwanted or malicious communication, damaging property, assault or even simply sending flowers or gifts which are unwanted.
Stalking can take place at home, online, at work or on a night out. Stalkers often use multiple methods of harassing their victims, but any such behaviour is illegal.
Who is a stalker?
Most people are stalked by people that they know. However, just because you know the person stalking you, that doesn’t make it right – it is still a crime.
Who can be a victim?
Anyone can become a victim of stalking. Statistics show that victims can be of any age, of any gender, and of any background.
How do I know that I am being stalked?
If you can answer yes to more than one of the following questions, you may be a victim of stalking:
- Are you very frightened?
- Is there a history of abuse and/or harassment?
- Has the stalker ever damaged your property?
- Does the stalker turn up at your home, workplace or any other location to see you uninvited more than three times per week?
- Does the stalker follow you or wait for you?
- Has the stalker made any threats of violence?
- Does the stalker also harass anyone else that you know?
Who should I contact if I think I’m being stalked?
Call 101 and to report it to us. It is important to gather as much evidence of what is taking place as possible, including audio recordings, videos and pictures, as well as any text messages, emails or letters that you have received from the stalker.
The best way to collect all the evidence is to create a log of all your interactions with the stalker, including the date, time, location and what happened – the more detail that you include, the more that the police have to work with.
However, it is very important to you are careful when collecting video or photo evidence against a stalker, since it is possible that they could complain to the police that you are harassing them by making unwanted recordings.
If you are unsure, talk to the police before collecting this type of evidence.
National Stalking Helpline
The National Stalking Helpline has more information about collecting evidence and how to keep a log, visit www.stalkinghelpline.org/creating-a-log
Remember – the sooner you report your stalker to the police, the sooner we can do something about it.
Put a STOP to stalking
- Say no – Tell the person once and you do not want any further contact with them, and then do not respond any more
- Take notes – Keep a log and save evidence like text messages, emails and screenshots of online activity
- Options – call the National Stalking Helpline or 101 to discuss your options
- Police – Stalking is illegal, and the police will take action
Where else can I find support?
National Stalking Helpline
Phn: 0808 802 0300
Phn: 0800 953 9595