Monday 19th April marked the start of National Stalking Awareness Week.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust defines stalking as 'A pattern of fixated and obsessive behaviour which is repeated, persistent, intrusive and causes fear of violence or engenders alarm and distress in the victim.’
Stalking can consist of any type of behaviour such as regularly sending flowers or gifts, making unwanted or malicious communication, damaging property and physical or sexual assault. If the behaviour is persistent and clearly unwanted, causing you fear, distress or anxiety then it is stalking and you should not have to live with it.
Stalking often has a huge emotional impact on those it affects. It can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder. It can be a psychological as well as a physical crime.
Watch this short animation to find out more:
This year’s National Stalking Awareness Week is focusing on the effects of the pandemic upon stalkers and their victims. Lockdown has seen many stalkers change their behaviour: in particular there has been a big increase in cyberstalking. Life has become even more difficult for many victims.
The following services and resources are available if you need additional support, if you are in immediate danger, please call: 999.
If you feel you are being persistently harassed by another person who is causing you distress and fear by stalking you, help and advice are available. For more advice and support, contact the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300, or email the National Stalking Helpline.
If you are experiencing stalking or harassment (which is a form of domestic abuse) from someone you know e.g. a partner or ex-partner, please contact Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service on 01752 252033.
Often a relationship doesn’t start off abusive but over time things may change and you may find yourself in an unhealthy relationship. To find out more about the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships and where to get help if you are concerned about your relationship please visit:
The Victim Care Unit can be contacted on 01392 475900 from 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm at the weekend. You can find more information about them here:
Victims of crime can also get support, whether they have reported a crime or not, through a live webchat system managed by the Victim Support charity. To access this facility, please visit the Victim Support website and select the red ‘chat now’ button at the bottom of the page.