20 to 24 April marks National Stalking Awareness Week. As a housing provider with a dedicated Community Safety team, we want to take this opportunity to raise awareness of stalking: what it is and where those effected can find support.
What is stalking?
Stalking is complex and isn’t easy to define, it is also one of the most common forms of abuse experienced by individuals. To summarise what it encompasses, it is often seen as a ‘pattern of unwanted, fixated and obsessive behaviour which is intrusive and causes fear of violence or serious alarm or distress.’
Unwanted communication, assault and damage to property are all forms of stalking; it is a form of abuse and can have a huge impact on the person who is being targeted. It is often believed that people are stalked by strangers, or that it only effects celebrities, however it can happen to anyone and people are actually often stalked by someone they know, with 45% of people who seek help reporting an ex-partner.
- In 2012 it was reported that up to 700,000 women are stalked each year, a number that is hard to define due to the complexity of stalking and the cases that go unrecorded.
- One in five women and one in ten men will experience stalking in adulthood.
- Victims of stalking don’t usually report their stalker to the police until the one hundredth incident.
- 75% of stalkers turn up at the victim’s place of work.
- Around 80.4% of victims are female while 70.5% of perpetrators are male.
Support for victims
During this unprecedented time, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust is focused on highlighting the urgent need to See Stalking Cleary and ensure that victims of stalking are still supported. CEO of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Suky Bhaker, said:
“Stalking is a crime of psychological terror that impacts on all aspects of a victim’s life, often in ways that are long-lasting and irreparable. During the immensely difficult circumstances that many are experiencing amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, it is essential that victims of stalking are not forgotten and that essential services continue to support them.”
Are you concerned about yourself or someone you know? Below is a list of charities and support services who can help. You can also directly contact the National Stalking Helpline on 0800 802 0300.