Whilst there is no strict legal definition of ‘stalking’, section 2A (3) of the Protection of Harassment Act 1997 sets out examples of acts which, in particular circumstances, are associated with stalking. Examples of these are following a person, watching or spying on them or forcing contact with the victim through any means, including social media.
Stalking is a criminal offence which includes behaviour which causes the victim to change the way they live their lives.
Stalkers will often use multiple and differing methods to harass their victims. If a behavior is unwanted, persistent and causes you fear, you are probably a victim of stalking.
Stalkers can be strangers but often they are known by the victims: they could be ex partners or acquaintances (for example you may have been dating or married a stalker, worked or even been friends with one at some point).
If you feel you may be a victim of stalking please take some time to complete this checklist which will be useful to take with you if you decide to seek support from the Police or other services. Collecting evidence also helps, click here to find out more.
It is also important that you know what to do to protect yourself, click here for tips and practical advice on staying safe.
For advice and support you can ring the National Stalking Helpline at 0808 802 0300 Monday to Friday 9:30am – 4pm (except Wednesdays opens at 1pm).
If you are being stalked and want to report what is happening call the Police at 101.
Locally please ring The Sunflower Centre at 01604 888211.
You can also contact Northampton Women’s Aid at 0845 123 2311.