Stalking occurs when you receive persistent, unwanted attention from someone that makes you feel pestered, harassed or uncomfortable.
Stalking is driven by the obsession and fixation of the stalker. It is a unique crime that includes behaviour that takes place more than once, this can vary from being gifted unwanted items to being consistently followed.
The impact of harassment and stalking ranges from annoyance to fearing violence from the person in question. It’s a particularly difficult crime to cope with because it often takes place over long periods of time. This can lead to victims constantly feeling afraid or anxious.
Stalking can build slowly and, for that reason, you may initially question whether you are being targeted or not.
What can I do if I’m being stalked or harassed?
Begin by reporting it to the police. It will be helpful if you can keep a diary of events in order to help them with their investigations.
Retain letters, emails and texts sent by the person harassing you. This will all help build a case against them, which will help the police and courts considerably when it comes to dealing with the crime.
You should take practical steps to reduce risk. This might include tightening up home security, varying your daily routine so your movements are not as predictable, and exercising caution when revealing personal information in public.
It is also advisable to consider your cyber safety: change passwords regularly, check privacy settings, disable geo-location applications on your smartphone and keep anti-virus software up to date.
Who can help?
The Victim Care Service can ensure you get the right support. We have experience in providing help and practical advice to victims of harassment and stalking. We can also put you in touch with other specialist organisations if appropriate.