Stalking is a pattern of persistent and unwanted attention that makes you feel scared, harassed or anxious.
On their own, some acts can seem quite innocent, or even romantic but if they are unwanted and persistent, this can feel intimidating. Some examples of stalking are:
- regularly giving unwanted gifts,
- sending unwanted communication, such as numerous texts, emails or notes,
- regularly following someone, waiting for at their place of work or home or spying on them,
- gathering information on someone, contacting their family or looking at public records and social media sites (sometimes called cyberstalking),
- threats and violence, damage to property.
Stalking is about power and control and should always be taken seriously. Stalkers obsess about their victim. “Romantically obsessed stalkers” refuse to believe the victim does not want to be with them and may threaten suicide when rejected. Many victims of domestic homicide experienced being stalked before they were killed.
If you think you are being stalked, it is important that you call 999 if you think you are in immediate danger or 101 to report to the Police. You can get further advice by calling the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.