Victims of stalking and harassment advised support is available
Partners across Norfolk are joining forces to raise awareness of stalking and harassment and remind victims help is still available during this difficult time.
One in five women and one in 10 men experience stalking at some point during their adult life – on average a victim will encounter 100 incidents before reporting it to the authorities.
Despite the current lockdown, stalking and harassment can still take many forms including cyber stalking and partners in Norfolk are keen for victims to know they are not alone.
Norfolk‘s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, also the county’s Victim’s Commissioner, said: “It is crucial victims of stalking and harassment do not feel alone and isolated.
“Such crimes are often under-reported even when we are not witnessing a major pandemic, so it is vital people find the courage to come forward and find help because support is available.
“Supporting victims and reducing vulnerability is one of my absolute key priorities as Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
“Now is a time more than ever when we must give a voice to those who have been or continue to be affected and who may feel even more isolated and alone.”
Legal guidance highlights that just two incidents can be classified as stalking.
If you are experiencing stalking or harassment, please do not suffer in silence. REPORT IT
Contact the police if you’re being stalked or harassed - you have a right to feel safe in your home and workplace.
Call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.
Contact your local police if it’s not an emergency.
- Report it as early as possible to the police and tell others what is happening
- There are support agencies to help
- Keep all the evidence
- Keep a diary
- Trust your instinct
Stalking can involve elements of both online-contact, for example emails or messages posted on social networking sites, and offline contact for example sending gifts or following.
Cyberstalking should be treated as seriosuly as stalking, whether the stalking takes place online or offline.
Cyber Safety/Stay safe online:
- Google yourself to check your digital footprint frequently
- Change passwords often and do not use the same password for everything.
- Check privacy settings on social networking sites and limit the amount of information you put on.
- Be aware of geo-location and tagging on social networking sites and ensure that this is disabled on your smartphone
- Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.
- Report stalking to website administrators.
- If you believe that your computer or smartphone has been hacked or compromised, stop using them immediately and where possible seek specialist support such as your mobile phone provider or computer repair experts for advice.
We all want to feel safe and secure, especially in and around our own homes.
Whether we live alone or with a partner, friends or family, keeping safe is something we can all get advice and support with.
If you are being stalked click here for personal safety advice from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
The website includes an array of safety information including:
More information on Harassment and Stalking here>>
Harassment can be any repeated behaviour that is unwanted and makes a person feel threatened, scared or upset. Behaviours can include:
- Frequently contacting you or attempting to contact you including online contact
- Driving past your home or work
- Following you or watching you
- Damaging your property
Stalking is a particular kind of harassment and generally describes a long-term pattern of persistent and repeated behaviour.
Stalking behaviour may include:
- Unwanted phone calls, letters, e-mails, text messages, or any form of communication
- Loitering near the victim or where they live or work
- Spying on the victim
- Following the victim
- Accosting the victim in private or public
- Entering the victim’s home or workplace
- Sending or leaving materials or gifts
- Ordering or cancelling goods and services
- Property damage
While some behaviours that constitute harassment will be similar to those manifesting in stalking situations, a key difference between these offences is that a stalker is more likely to be obsessively fixated on one specific individual – their victim.
The stalker may have delusions that they are in a relationship with the victim when no relationship actually exists for example and even if the victim moves or changes their name, the stalker will do everything possible to track them down.
Domestic stalkers (past relationship or family) are the most concerning types of stalkers with 50% carrying out their threats.
More information on how to get help can be found here>>
National Support Organisations
National Stalking Helpline
Telephone: 0808 802 0300 / Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4pm (except Wednesday 1pm to 4pm)
Stalking Helpline Enquiry Form https://www.suzylamplugh.org/forms/national-stalking-helpline-enquiry-form
Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service
Telephone: 020 3866 4107 – Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm weekdays (except Wednesdays 10am to 5pm)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and they will make arrangements for a call at a convenient time
Network for Surviving Stalking
Protection Against Stalking
Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care Service
Telephone: 0300 303 3706
Further online resources to help stay safe
- Facebook Safety Centre Advice
- Safety and Privacy on Facebook: A Guide for Survivors of Abuse
- Privacy and Safety on Facebook