What is stalking?

Stalking is a repeated pattern of unwanted, fixated and obsessive behaviour which is intrusive and makes you feel scared and distressed, it is a criminal offence and anyone can be a victim. It can include anything from non-stop calls, unwanted gifts, watching or turning up at your home or workplace, following you, damaging your property, using family members to get to you and social media abuse.

Most victims know their stalker but the most common is the ‘ex-intimate’. These perpetrators have been in a previous relationship with the victim, usually abusive and controlling in nature. Stalking will begin once the relationship ends in an attempt to keep control.

A stalker will have little or no regard for their victim and boundaries no longer exist. Although victims ‘just want it to stop’, the words ‘no’ and ‘stop’ become meaningless to the stalker and typically the stalking behaviour will escalate.

The impact of stalking

Stalking can be with or without violence or intimidation and has a huge emotional impact.  It causes victims to make changes to their lives such as stopping or changing the way they socialise, changing their routes to work or isolating themselves. This in turn can have substantial adverse effects on mental and physical health.

Find out more about the different signs of stalking and the profile of a stalker.

Learn how an Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker can help you.

Read about Hayley’s online stalking nightmare and how Rosie’s ex partner used her mental health and work to stalk her.

Two victims share their story, listen to their audio clip.

Stalking is a crime, find out more about stalking legislation.

Where to get help

If you have been affected by stalking and domestic abuse and would like information and advice please contact COMPASS, our single point of contact for local domestic abuse services.

0330 333 7 444

If you are in immediate danger call 999.

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