What is stalking?
There is no distinct definition of stalking as it can occur through a variety of different things, for example someone may be following someone continually, sending them text messages or calling them on the phone leaving abusive messages. Furthermore sending ‘poison-pen’ abusive letters can also fall under the definition of stalking.
Emotional stress suffered by people who are being stalked
Stalking may happen for a variety of reasons but there is one thing which is common to all cases involving stalkers and that is the emotional stress suffered by those people who are being stalked. If an individual is being stalked by another individual it can be an extremely scary thing and in some cases difficult to prove. Accordingly there are a number of steps which you should adhere to if you feel that you are being stalked.
What should I do if I fear I am being stalked?
If you fear that you are being stalked you should attempt to do the following things:
Get in contact with the local police force
Start a diary
Inform as many people around you who you are close to
Check your home security
Avoid being alone and reconsider your daily routes
Getting in contact with the local police force
Many people feel that if they are unsure whether they are being stalked and if they do not have that much information the police will not take their complaint seriously. This is incorrect – if you feel that your personal safety is at risk then your complaint will be taken seriously
Starting a diary
If you start a diary you must ensure that you record every incident in detail. You should also try and record anything which you think may be useful to the police as evidence. This is extremely important in relation to telephone messages left or letters sent – ensure that you keep hold of the evidence and get hold of as much as you can to prove that you are being stalked.
Informing people close to you
If an individual feels that they are being stalked they should ensure to inform as many people as they can around them so that other people can keep an eye out for them.
For more information on:
- Check your home security
- Avoid being alone and reconsider your daily routines
- Does the law provide me with any protection if I am being stalked?
- The Protection from Harassment Act 1997
- What does the Act say?
- When will a reasonable person know if their conduct amounts to harassment?
- What conduct would be taken to amount to harassment?
- Are there any other remedies which are available in relation to harassment or stalking?