Are You Being Stalked?

Unwanted attention from a stranger or a work colleague can cause immeasurable distress to those on the receiving end. It is important to recognise the signs of stalking; an innocent correspondence may turn into a campaign of harassment. Shockingly, figures show the number of recorded stalking offences has trebled in England and Wales since 2014 – but prosecution rates have plunged.

National Stalking Awareness Week

Victims of stalking can range in age and gender and although not always ending in violence it can take a devastating psychological toll. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust’s annual National Stalking Awareness Week is taking place from Monday 8th April to Friday 12th April 2019. Its mission is to raise awareness of stalking and focus on the impact it has on victims’s health.

What Is Stalking?

Stalking is a sinister crime that can leave people feeling isolated and reluctant to report minor incidents. A drip drip effect of minor incidents can often lead to more serious crimes such as kidnapping and violence. Be proactive when faced with this type of crime, do not let it take over your life.

Stalking is a pattern of behaviour perpetrated by someone who has developed an obsession or fixation on another person. Stalking can take place anywhere and comes in many forms. Stalking behaviour can include persistent phone calls, spying, following, visiting someone’s home, making complaints against someone and genuinely being a nuisance. Unfortunately, the more extreme end of stalking can involve criminal damage, violence and sexual assault.

If you feel you are being stalked call the National Stalking Helpline freephone number on 0808 802 0300 or email advice@stalkinghelpline.org

Be Proactive

  • Often stalkers can be someone from a previous relationship. Tell them NO from the start if they continue to contact you. About 45% of people who contact the National Stalking Helpline are being stalked by ex-partners.
  • Write down every incident in a diary no matter how incidental. It may start with a bunch of flowers but on paper sending a bunch of flowers isn’t a crime. Every interaction adds up to form a vital log of evidence. Note the time of day and date.
  • Do not keep it a secret. If you suspect you are receiving unwanted attention don’t suffer in silence. Tell a friend, a family member or work colleague. Do not let it isolate you from your loved ones.
  • Install home security devices such as motion sensor monitors and CCTV cameras. An upgrade of certain security features on your home can give you peace of mind and can gather evidence if a crime is committed.
  • Contact the police at the first sign of harassment. Even if no crime has been committed the police will have a record of the incident and can be used as evidence in the future.
  • Your personal safety is paramount if you feel you are being monitored. Carry around with you a personal attack alarm that will disorientate anyone that tries to attack you.

See our video below on what a personal attack alarm (rape alarm) sounds like.

 

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