Are you being harassed or stalked? Are you worried about a friend or family member who may be in danger? You’re not alone. This post provides information and advice on what to do if you’re being harassed or stalked, as well as how to help someone else who is in danger.
Stalking and harassment is when someone repeatedly behaves in a way that makes you feel scared, distressed or threatened and are offences under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. There are different types, and anyone can be a victim. The police take these offences seriously and will investigate any reports made to them, so you should always report cases to the police. There is also support from various organisations such as Victim Support which we will touch on later so don’t suffer in silence – help is available. Firstly let’s start with some definitions …
Harassment is when an example of any unwanted behaviour happens more than once. Examples of this behaviour are below and could be from people you know or complete strangers.
Sexual harassment is any kind of unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature that makes you feel humiliated or intimidated, or that creates a hostile environment. Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010
Stalking is a form of harassment where the stalker has an obsession with their target and can result in more aggressive behaviour. Stalking is not legally defined, but it is generally accepted to include repeated attempts to impose unwanted communications and/or contacts on another person that would be expected to cause distress or fear.
Harassing behaviour can take many different forms. The legislation doesn’t just cover physical contact, it also applies if you engage with someone through social networking sites or chat rooms – this is sometimes known as “cyber-stalking.”
Stalkers can make frequent threats to their victims, either directly or indirectly. Indirect examples include sending wreaths and violent images to the victim (often anonymously).
If in doubt the police have come up with a simple classifier, you should report you are being stalked if what you are experiencing falls into any of the following behaviour criteria.
If you are looking to report an instance of stalking to the police it is advisable to have answers to the following checklist when reporting the crime.
It is important to record the details of what happened as soon as possible so you can remember them when it’s time for your statement. Make sure to keep a diary, noting down where and when everything occurred as well any messages or calls received and anyone that may have witnessed your behaviour. How ever distressing do not delete any emails or messages, download, print off and keep the original messages for police inspection. Keep any letters or parcels as evidence, you don’t have to open them to read the contents. Its really important to tell people what you are experiencing, get friends, family and work colleagues to note any instances where they may have encountered behaviour directed towards you such as answering your phone or collecting a package.
You are not alone, there are plenty of organisations you can turn to if you experience any of the behaviour listed above
Suzy Lamplugh Trust – Tel 0808 802 0300
Victim Support – 0808 168 9111
Victims First – 0300 123 4148
Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline – 0808 802 1414
If you are experiencing harassment or stalking, please know that you are not alone. There is help available, and the police are there to support victims of these crimes. Please do not hesitate to call 999 if you feel unsafe or need help. You may also want to reach out to a friend or family member for support. Thank you for reading this post, and we hope that you find the information helpful, and remember to always carry one of our alarms for added protection.