Stalking

 

Stalking

 

Stalking is an unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group towards another person. Stalking behaviours relate to harassment and intimidation.

 

What is stalking? 

It is hard to give an exact definition of stalking because stalkers will often use multiple and differing methods to harass their victims. Stalking can consist of any type of behaviour such as regularly sending flowers or gifts, making unwanted or malicious communication, damaging property and physical or sexual assault. If the behaviour is clearly unwanted and persistent causing you fear, harassment or anxiety then it is stalking and you should not have to live with it.

The list of what constitutes harassment can include:- Calls, Texts, Cards, Letters, Email, Internet harassment, Graffiti, gifts, hacking computers, tracing calls, following and criminal damage. However this list is not exhausted.

 

Can stalking only be done by a stranger? 

Many people think of stalking as a stranger lurking in the shadows or a delusional fan following a celebrity.

However about 38% of stalkers are ex intimate partners, 21% are acquaintances and 9.5% are strangers.

Trust your instincts where stalking is involved, if someone is making you feel scared or intimidated do not ignore these feelings. Early intervention can stop stalking.

Stalking can cause severe psychological distress to victims. Common side effects can include depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, paranoia, agoraphobia and post traumatic stress disorder.

Cyber Safety/Stay safe online:

  • Google yourself to  check your digital footprint frequently
  • Change passwords often and do not use the same password for everything.
  • Check privacy settings on social networking sites and limit the amount of information you put on.
  • Be aware of geo-location and tagging on social networking sites and ensure that this is disabled on your smartphone
  • Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.
  • Report stalking to website administrators.
  • If you believe that your computer or smartphone has been hacked or compromised, stop using them immediately and take them to a specialist such as your mobile phone provider or computer repair experts for advice.

National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300 (Open weekdays 9:30-16:00, Wednesdays 13:00-16:00)

Paladin: National Stalking Advocacy Service  0207 840 8960.  Website: www.paladinservice.co.uk   Email: info@paladinservice.co.uk

 

 

If you are in immediate danger call the Police 999