This could be from a client or colleague, or from someone unrelated to work who is causing the victim distress at work.
What is stalking?
Stalking is repeated, unwanted contact from one person to another which causes the victim to feel distressed or fearful. It differs from harassment in that a perpetrator of stalking will have an obsession with or fixation on the individual(s) they are targeting.
Stalking is a specific criminal offence in England, Wales and Scotland and is classified by the Home Office as a crime against women and girls; other crimes that sit in this category includes honour based violence, sexual assault and domestic abuse. These crimes disproportionately affect women however this does not mean that there are not male victims of stalking or that they do not also require appropriate support.
Stalking can have a hugely detrimental impact on its victims, causing them to feel unsafe wherever they go. This can have a knock-on effect on their physical and psychological wellbeing.
Stalking can take place in many forms in the workplace. Some stalkers are colleagues or clients of the victim, others are individuals who are unrelated to the workplace but who make contact with the victim there because of ease of access or to cause them further distress.
Victims of stalking can experience a wide range of behaviours:
• Nuisance telephone calls
• Sending excessive emails
• Being followed
• Sending gifts or letters
• Death threats
• Monitoring behaviour
• Making false complaints to employers/police etc.
In the UK, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men are stalked at some point in their lives (British Crime Survey 2011).
Of the people that have contacted National Stalking Helpline:
79% are female victims and 20% are male victims.
62% of perpetrators are male and 20% are female.
42% of people are being stalked by a previous partner.
90% of people were stalked by someone that they know.
For information and sources of support go to:
National Stalking Helpline: http://www.stalkinghelpline.org/useful-links/
Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse: http://www.talk2someone.org.uk
In an emergency always dial 999.
If it is not an emergency Warwickshire Police can be contacted by calling: 101