From 19th April we’ll be marking Stalking Awareness Week.
Many people think of stalking as being followed by a shadowy figure in the dark, but for many people the stalking and harassing behaviours are carried out by someone they were once in an intimate relationship with. People who perpetrate stalking may explain their behaviours as romantic attempts to win someone’s affection, or as not giving up on a relationship. Society often romanticises these gestures, even if they are unwanted, scary and intrusive. Stalking can also take many forms with perpetrators increasingly using technology and smart devices in the home to track, trace and monitor people’s behaviour. Unfortunately, in some cases, stalking isn’t taken seriously and the risk escalates causing distress, fear and alarm. Living with this can be debilitating.
So what is stalking?
- Stalking is described as a pattern of unwanted behaviours that are fixated or obsessive and can be intrusive.
- Stalking behaviours can be carried out by current or ex-partners, family members or someone that is not known to the person being stalked.
- It can include harassment that amounts to stalking or stalking that causes fear of violence or serious alarm or distress.
What does stalking look like?
A pattern of unwanted behaviours that may include:
- Following someone or monitoring their movements
- Turning up in unexpected locations
- Watching someone Moving things or leaving things around their home or place of work
- Calling and messaging repeatedly
- Monitoring someone’s online movements
- Using smart devices to record information or obtain information about someone
- Planting recording devicesPutting tracking apps on their phone or using tracking devices
- Causing damage to property
- Acting in an intimidating way
- Giving unwanted gifts such as chocolates and flowers, writing letters or making ‘grand gestures’
Alarmingly, 76% of women murdered nationally had reported stalking in the previous 12 months. This increases to 85% for women who were murdered by their partner.
Find out more about Stalking and Harassment at our Live webinar, hosted by our Barnsley team on April 21st at 10 am – 10.45 am.