Stalking and Harassment
Stalking and harassment is when someone repeatedly behaves in a way that makes you feel scared, distressed or threatened.
Both stalking and harassment are common features of domestic abuse.
There are similarities in what constitutes harassment and what is stalking. A lot of the abuse techniques are the same but it becomes stalking when the abuse has become an ‘obsession’, if it indicates fixation, is excessively repeated, and aggressive in its nature.
Spot the FOUR signs of stalking
Stalking and harassment is a criminal offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
Examples of Stalking include:
- Regularly following someone
- Turning up at places where they know the person often goes/visits e.g. workplace, school etc
- Repeatedly going uninvited to their home
- Checking someone’s internet use, email or other electronic communication
- Watching or spying on someone
- Interfering with their property
- Threats including subtle/veiled threats
- Regularly giving unwanted gifts
- Unwanted phone calls, letters, texts emails
Examples of Harassment include:
- Unwanted phone calls, texts , emails
- Unwanted visits to the home/workplace
- Sending abusive text or emails messages
- Verbal abuse and threats
- Damaging the victim’s property
For more information about stalking and harassment including how to report abuse, refer to https://www.lincs.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/sh/stalking-harassment/what-is-stalking-harassment/
The Alice Ruggles Trust have created a useful information video on stalking:
What you should do if you are being harassed or stalked
Call the police – stalking is a crime. Call 101 (or 999 in an emergency).
Seek support. Get help from stalking support services, such as
- Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Specialist Service 01522 510041
- The Suzy Lamplugh Trust
- The Alice Ruggles Trust
- National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300
- Crime Stoppers: 0800 555 111
Be cyber secure. Change your passwords, check your privacy settings, scan for spyware. Visit www.getsafeonline.org for further advice and information.
Have a safety plan – see safety planning guidelines
Curb contact. Keep any contact with the stalker to an absolute minimum.
Vary your routine. Don’t go to the same place at the same time each day, mix it up and make sure someone knows where you are.
Talk about it. Tell trusted people about what’s going on.
Record everything. Keep a diary, screenshots, calls, times, dates, places, any witnesses – include how you felt at the time.
There are also a variety of apps to download which can help to keep you safe: