What is stalking?

It is hard to give an exact definition of stalking because stalkers will often use multiple and differing methods to harass their victims. Stalking can consist of a range of types of behaviour such as regularly sending flowers or gifts, making unwanted or malicious comments, damaging property and physical or sexual assault. If the behaviour is persistent and unwanted, causing you fear, or anxiety then it is stalking and you should not have to live with it.

Changes to the law

In November 2012, two specific criminal offences of ‘stalking’ and ‘stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress’ came into force in England and Wales, along with additional related police search powers.

Am I overreacting?

No. If you feel scared, worried or angered by the behaviour then you should not have to put up with it. Some people you talk to or turn to for support may lack the knowledge or understanding of how stalking can negatively impact on every aspect of your life, however that does not mean that you are overreacting.

Who can be a victim of stalking?

Anyone can become a victim of stalking.

Am I at risk?

A study on the relationship between stalking and homicide involving a female victim and male perpetrator, found that in 71% of cases the victim and perpetrator were in, or had previously had, an intimate relationship.

(Monckton Smith, J., Szymanska, K., and Haile, S. Exploring the Relationship between Stalking and Homicide (Published online: University of Gloucestershire, in association with Suzy Lamplugh Trust, 2017)

Taken in isolation, some of the behaviours may seem like small acts, but together they make up a consistent pattern of behaviour that is frightening and upsetting. It’s important to know that stalking is a criminal offence and because of this, if you go to the police they will take it seriously.