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National Stalking Awareness Week 2016

Did you know..

  • Stalking affects 1 in 6 women and 1 in 12 men at some point in their lives
  • 80% of people are stalked by someone they know
  • Stalking was made a criminal offence in England and Wales in November 2012
National Stalking Awareness Week 2016 logo

If a person's behaviour towards you is persistent and clearly unwanted, causing you fear, harassment or anxiety, then it is stalking and you should not have to live with it.

Stalking is not funny, romantic or acceptable. It is sinister, distressing and illegal. We will support victims and take action against offenders.

To help raise awareness of the support available to people affected by stalking we are taking part in the Suzy Lamplugh Trust National Stalking Awareness Week.

During last year’s campagin - ‘Is this stalking’ – the Suzy Lamplugh Trust released a video to give people a clearer understanding of stalking and dispel myths and misunderstandings which have built up around it.

“‘Is this stalking? is a question people should feel able to ask themselves and their loved ones if they are receiving unwanted attention. It is also a question for those persistent individuals who often try and convince themselves their behaviour is acceptable."

- Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Watch this clip to find out more:

Who can be affected by stalking?

Stalking can happen to people of any age, gender or race. This crime affects 1 in 6 women and 1 in 12 men at some point in their lives.

Stalking and harassment also affects young people as well as adults but can sometimes be dismissed as bullying rather than stalking. We’re working in schools and colleges across the Avon and Somerset force area to raise awareness of online safety, promote healthy relationships and encourage young people to take steps to protect themselves when using social networks and online games.

Staying safe

There are a number of steps you can take if you think you are experiencing stalking:

  • Keep a record of what happened - where and when you were followed or telephoned, or when you received post or e-mail messages, details of people who may have seen these events, write down information as soon as possible when events are still fresh in your mind
  • Record how the suspect looked and sounded - what they were wearing and the make and number plate of any vehicle involved
  • Keeping copies of letters, text messages, emails and take screen shots of social media/other online messages (eg on Facebook)
  • Stay safe online – keeping your apps and any online profiles secure is vital. Turn off geo tagging and amend settings to ensure no one can find your location. 
  • Report offences to the police, quoting any reference numbers if your case is ongoing.

Read more on our advice page.

What can the police do to help?

Research has shown that on average some victims of stalking experience over 100 incidents before contacting the police.

We want to reassure people that we will take action when reports are made and encourage more people to come forward. Our officers and staff are trained to access risk and support you throughout the investigation.

If you are a victim of stalking, our advice page has details on ways you can contact us, including our online reporting form. If you feel a person's behaviour is putting you in immediate danger, you should call 999 straight away.

Help and support

National Stalking Helpline

The National Stalking Helpline provides guidance and information to anybody who is currently or has previously been affected by harassment or stalking.

0808 802 0300 (09:30 - 16:00 weekdays except Wed 13:00 16:00)

advice@stalkinghelpline.org

www.stalkinghelpline.org

Victim Support

Free and confidential emotional support and practical advice to help victims cope and recover from crime.

0845 30 30 900

www.victimsupport.org.uk

Myth: Stalking only happens to celebrities or other high profile people. Fact: 1 in 6 women and 1 in 12 men will be stalked at some time in their life.
Myth: Stalking is usually carried out by strangers. Fact: Over 80% of people are stalked by someone they know.
Myth: Stalking only happens to adults. Fact: Children and young people can be stalked too. Their age alone does not make unwanted behaviour bullying - it may be stalking.

Stalking Awareness Week 2016

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust provide advice and information on topics including personal safety and stalking. The charity have been running awareness days to raise awareness of stalking for a number of years.

This year, the charity are extending their campaign and have launched the first Stalking Awareness Week. For more information visit www.suzylamplugh.org