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Stalking and Harassment

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In November 2012 Stalking was made an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act. Stalking is a crime and you do not have to live with it.

Stalking may not include violence or direct threats; it may be repeated behaviour that is unwanted by the victim. A number of behaviours that may otherwise seem normal can be menacing and distressing to a victim when they are unwanted and repeated. Although the popular image of a stalker is often of a stranger, most female victims know their stalker. Research has indicated that ex-intimate stalkers are the most dangerous.

Behaviours could include:

  • Frequent unwanted contact such as appearing at the victim’s home, workplace, telephone calls, text messages, letters, notes, e-mails, faxes, or other contact on social networking sites like Facebook, Bebo, My Space etc.;

  • Driving past the victim’s home of workplace;

  • Following, watching or loitering near the victim;

  • Sending letters or unwanted ‘gifts’ (‘gifts may appear ‘nice’ but could have a sinister meaning);

  • Damaging significant property belonging to the victim;

  • Burglary or robbery of the victim’s home, workplace, car;

  • Gathering information on the victim by contacting people who know the victim, using public records etc.;

  • Harassment of others close to the victim;

  • Threats to harm or kill (includes sexual threats) the victim or those close, particularly those who are seen to be ‘protecting the victim’ or acting as the buffer between the victim and the stalker;

  • Physical and/or sexual assault of victim.

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know you can call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 (09:30 – 16:00 Weekdays, except Wed 13:00 – 16:00)

There is a new service to support victims of stalking. The Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service will support high risk victims of stalking. You can refer yourself to this service. For more information call 020 7840 8960 or email info@paladinservice.co.uk.

In an emergency always dial 999

For more information on stalking, including a list of Dos and Don’ts and advice on how to understand the risks and keep yourself safe visit Protection Against Stalking (PAS).

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