National Stalking Awareness Week, which kick-starts today, Monday 24 April 2017, aims to raise awareness of the issue and the effect stalking can have on people.
This year’s campaign, by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, focuses on helping police and support workers recognise the signs of stalking at an early stage and focusing on the motives of the stalker, not just on specific incidents or behaviour.
The charity states this type of behaviour could be as simple as rearranging garden furniture, sending unwanted gifts, loitering on the pavement outside their house or even calling social services to maliciously report ‘poor’ parenting.
This trust which runs the National Stalking Helpline, warned that failure to take action on stalking could lead to an escalation in violence and potentially death. It called on courts to recognise stalking as a broader problem and pattern of behaviour.
The aim of this campaign is to ensure that everyone knows that #StalkingMatters and that no one should live in fear of another person.
What does stalking actually mean? Watch the short film below:
Perpetrators of domestic violence often use stalking to intimidate their victims. This behaviour has come under the spotlight over the last few months in light of new evidence which suggests violent partners are using the family courts to stalk, harass and bully partners, children and acquaintances.
The information below is from the ONS and shows stalking incidents by partners and family members:
Research reveals that only 11% of stalkers received an immediate custodial sentence for Section 2a stalking and just 9% for a section 4a stalking offence in 2013.
- Victims do not tend to report to the police until the 100th incident.
- 50% of victims have curtailed or stopped working due to stalking.
- 75% of domestic violence stalkers will visit the workplace.
- 1 in 2 domestic stalkers, if they make a threat, will act on it.
- 1 in 10 stalkers, who had no prior relationship, if they make a threat will act on it.
- Statistics show that the majority of victims (80.4%) are female while the majority of perpetrators (70.5%) are male.
- The Metropolitan Police Service found that 40% of the victims of domestic homicides had also been stalked.
Stalking can also happen online, and can often be an extension of offline stalking. Your online accounts may be taken over, you may receive threats via instant messaging apps or emails, or you may have fake websites or profiles set up in your name which aim to distress you.
Anyone who is being stalked can contact the Freephone National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 (Open 09.30 to 16.00 weekdays, except Wednesday 13.00 to 16.00) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The helpline provides confidential information and guidance and always takes stalking seriously.
Visit www.stalkinghelpline.org to find out more.
The Network for Surviving Stalking is a registered charity dedicated to providing help, support and information for those affected by stalking and harassment.
Main Telephone Number: 0845 3030 900
Contact Refuge – Warwickshire Domestic Violence Service to discuss in confidence, any fears or concerns you may have. 0800 408 1552 (Monday-Friday 8.30am-8.30pm, Saturday 10am-4pm).
Click here Refuge – Warwickshire Domestic Violence Services to find out more.
In an emergency always call 999.