The term “stalking” is used lightly nowadays. We often joke about “stalking” someone online by looking at someone’s social media sites, but people who have experienced real-life stalking know that it’s more than browsing your ex’s Facebook profile to see who they’re dating now. In fact, did you know that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men have been stalked in their lifetime? Stalkers can be strangers, but often, they are people the victim knows well.
Most of the time, stalkers will make you feel anxious and vulnerable. There are some steps which you can take to help you feel safer.
1.) Talk to someone
Don’t keep it to yourself. Sharing your concerns with people you trust will gain you a much-needed network of support. These people will also be able to keep an eye out for you and help keep you safe.
2.) Secure your home
Take measures to protect your home and keep yourself safe whilst in it. Inform trustworthy neighbours of your situation so they can keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour too.
3.) Keep notes
Take notes of significant events and forms of contact that the person makes with you. This will help you understand if there’s a pattern of behaviour. Also, if you decide to take formal action or go to the police, you have sufficient evidence.
4.) Ensure other family members are aware of the situation
Stalkers can take advantage of you by making close contact with your loved ones. They do this to torment you. This can be extremely distressing if you have younger family members who may not understand the danger of stalkers.
5.) Carry a safety device with you
First2HelpYou has a selection of safety devices which could assist you in an emergency or if you feel under threat. This could help you feel more secure if you’re walking on your own in a secluded environment. Our devices include:
Get in touch with us if you’d like further information.
6.) Contact the National Stalking Helpline for further support and advice
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust has more in-depth advice on their website and a National Stalking helpline you can contact. The National Stalking Helpline gives practical information, support, and advice on risk, safety planning and legislation to victims of stalking, their friends, family, and professionals working with victims. You can call the helpline on 0808 802 0300 or complete the following helpline enquiry form.
7.) Contact the police
If you feel you have taken all the necessary steps to try and stop the stalker, you must make the police aware of the situation. The sooner there’s some formal intervention, the sooner it’s likely to stop. Stalkers don’t generally stop on their own.