I have a problem with a stalker.
When we hear the term ‘stalking,’ most of us imagine being followed by a strange, faceless person. So someone who hides in bushes and lurks around corners waiting to catch a glimpse of the object of their desire.
In reality, stalking is far more sinister than that. Stalking incidents are on the increase.
It is a form of abuse and a serious criminal offence. It is characterised by a pattern of repeat, persistent and unwanted behaviour that is both intrusive and causes fear. It is also one of the most frequent forms of abuse, with an estimated 700,000 women stalked each year. This doesn’t include cyber stalking, so the true statistic is expected to be far higher.
Women are more likely to be victims of stalking (80.4%) while the perpetrators are more likely to be male (70.5%). Research has revealed that 40% of the victims of domestic homicide were stalked prior to their lives being taken.
So with such frightening trends, it is vital that you report being stalked to the police.
The digital age has given stalkers far more ways of stalking than ever. Text messages are often used as a way of gathering information too. So let’s see how we can protect ourselves.
Getting started: How do I know if I’m being stalked?
- Are you feeling anxious, scared, nervous or harassed by unwanted attention?
- Is someone consistently spamming your inbox, phone or social media accounts.
- Is someone making lewd remarks, odd comments or even threats?
- Do you feel, or know, you’re being spied on or followed?
- Are you receiving unwanted attention or gifts?
- Has your property been damaged or stolen?
- Is there a consistent pattern of behaviour?
- Are you feeling emotional distress or do you feel your mental health is being affected?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself.
Stalking can be hard to recognise at first, but the general rule is: if you’re feeling intimidated by someone’s persistent and unwanted attention, then they are breaking the law. So you have every right to call the police and report them. Victims of crime like this have the law on their side so don’t be afraid to use it.
I have a problem with a stalker. What can I do if I’m being stalked?
The good news is a lot can be done and the sooner you start taking action the better. Once you’ve recognised you’re a victim of stalking and want to change the balance of power in your favour there is a wealth of support and protection available to you.
You do not have to wait until the 100th incident to report it. The sooner your perpetrator’s behaviour is addressed, the safer you’ll be.
So rule number one, always trust your instincts and start gathering information as soon as you can. The more information you have the better. Theer is often a tendency to want tio gte rid of anything unpleasant on yur phone as possoble. That is perfectly understandable. However, if you can collect as much information as possible it will ceratinly makelife easier down the track. Emails and texts are perfect ways of building yoiur case. Getting a restriction order for example will be very easy if you have good evidence.
Write down when an incident occurs and how it made you feel. Put together a timeline, collate as much evidence as you can. Most important of all, be sure to seek advice straight away. Some helpful resources are:
- Be Female Group: Younger victims of stalking
Ultimately, your safety and peace of mind is paramount.
So, with the rise in cybercrime, unfortunatly stalking is getting easier for those who want to hide behind a screen instead of a bush. This doesn’t make the crime any less serious. Nor does it make the reality any less dangerous for the victims who suffer from this form of harassment.
Got a problem with a stalker? It’s a crime so let’s do something about it.
Yes it’s a crime and the law is there to both help and protect you. Cyber stalking is a big deal and stalking cases are on the increase. So don’t feel you have to suffer in silence – or alone. Stalking law is real – and it’s on your side.
The following links will help put YOU back in control.
Stalking Problems: Helpful References.
- Stalking and Harassment. CPS crime and Disorder Act 1998. Source link: https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/stalking-and-harassment
- Crime Survey of England and Wales. Source link can be found here.
- Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service. Source link: https://paladinservice.co.uk/key-facts-and-figures/
- University of Gloucester study 2017: Exploring the relationship better Stalking and Homicide. Source link: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/4553/1/NSAW%20Report%2004.17%20-%20finalsmall.pdf
- House of Parliament Stalking and Harassment Post Note. Source link: file:///Users/jodinicholls/Downloads/POST-PN-0592 (1).pdf