Is any form of regular and persistent harassment which you don't like or want. It doesn't just mean someone hanging around looking shifty.
It can come from anyone who becomes obsessed with you, your life, or a part of your life, such as a sport you enjoy or pub you like to go to. Believe it or not a stalker may not realise their attentions are making you fearful.
Whatever their motives you have a right not to feel threatened. So some pointers:
- If you feel you are being stalked start to record incidents. Name, time and place. This includes Internet stalking (lots of e-mails and/or messages from someone) and phone stalking. Keep e-mails in a separate computer file and try to record phone calls. Try to take photos or a video if someone is hanging around. Sometimes this can cause them to stop.
- If possible and in safety, politely but firmly warn them ONCE their attentions are not wanted. Be calm, clear, brief and robust. Do it ONCE and then avoid all further contact. Write down what was said and when. Do not take ANY risks or put yourself in danger. If this is not possible it may be you can find a trusted friend to speak to the alleged stalker on your behalf.
- Tell friends of your concerns anyway so they can look out for you.
- Phone your local police. If you say you feel threatened you will be taken seriously. When you talk to them take your diary, photos and recordings. The link below will give you your local police station phone number.
- Check your home is secure.
- Try and stick with friends when going out so no one can approach you alone.
- Be unpredictable. Change your route to work or to the shops. Then you will be more difficult to find.
Web site: Police UK
More Information: Home Security
If you get a "dodgy" phone call - try not to sound worried or annoyed (that's what the caller is after). Just lay the phone down for a couple of minutes, and then put it back on the hook. That way the caller gets nothing from you plus an idea of what it is like to be phoned up by a spook.
If you get more abusive calls look here:
More Information: Phone and Mail Security
Web site: BT Nuisance Caller help page
Personal Items And Alarms
Alarms are for those who feel vulnerable when out and about. They set off a loud siren sound when switched on. Available on the Internet and at some high street stores.
A very sensible item to carry when you go out walking is a good sized torch. Obviously valuable at night time anyway, it will make someone think twice if you hold it up when threatened.
Finally - if you do become a victim...
There are a lot of people who can help you face and deal with whatever has happened. Victim Support provides a confidential helpline and a website providing information and support for any victim of crime, including stalking and harassment.
Phone: 0845 3030 900 - Victim Support
Web site: Victim Support
More Information: NPFS & RM Welfare
More Information: Confidential Supportline