This week is National Stalking Awareness Week.
To experience stalking can be a living nightmare. To help convey the horror it can induce, and to help others who may be suffering or at risk, one brave Lincolnshire survivor has agreed to share her story.
Lauren* was subjected to a constant barrage of texts, calls and messages. She felt constantly followed and watched. Her stalker threatened her life and threatened to harm her family. She lost her job and someone she was close to as a direct consequence of his actions. She cried herself to sleep then experienced such intense nightmares she kept herself awake.
“I lived in fear every day of him hurting me, I was terrified. The stress and anxiety it caused me was something that took a long time to fade. There were times where I questioned why I was still living. Times I had to tell myself that it will stop just to try and stop the tears, the shaking and the feeling ill and drained from no sleep.”
Eventually Lauren received the help she needed but not before a long period of time where she felt ignored, helpless and alone. Lauren is now working with Lincolnshire Police to share her experience and to make sure that the response for the next person reporting stalking is right first time, and every time.
Click here to read Lauren’s story.
Stalking Awareness Week this year is focusing on “Reporting Stalking”. Fear, embarrassment or a feeling that it will not be taken seriously are reasons that people do not report harassment or stalking but we believe that no one should suffer in silence.
Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West said, "Stalking can be an isolating experience breeding fear in the victim of repercussions should they seek help. A perpetrator may lower the self-esteem and confidence of their victim – leaving them questioning if there is any escape.
“If you are being stalked or harassed please take that brave step and come forward. We know that on average a victim will not report to us until the 100th incident. We need to change this so we can stop the escalation in behaviour that is a trademark of stalking. We want that opportunity to deal effectively with perpetrators at the first opportunity.
“Getting this right, first time and every time, is crucial. We are very grateful to Lauren for sharing her experience and allowing us to learn from it, and for giving others confidence to come forward.”
During the course of National Stalking Awareness Week we will be sharing our officer training session, raising awareness of the support available and highlighting the signs of stalking.
Like us on facebook or follow the campaign on twitter #NSAW2018.
*Name has been changed to protect identity.
What is stalking?
Stalking is repeated unwanted contact from one person to another, which demonstrates either a fixation or obsession and causes the victim to feel alarm, distress or fear of violence. It may involve personal contact but also via the phone, email, letter or social media.
How to get help
Always call 999 in an emergency
Call 101 if it is not urgent but you would like to seek advice from the police
The National Stalking Helpline provides advice and guidance to current or previous victims of stalking or harassment. The helpline can be contacted on 0808 802 0300.
Paladin support high risk victims of stalking with their specialist Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers (ISAC) and ensure that a coordinated community response is developed locally to protect victims.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust provides practical personal safety advice.
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Notes for editors:
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will experience stalking in their adult life
- Victims do not tend to report to the police until the 100th incident
- 1 in 2 domestic stalkers, if they make a threat, will act on it
- 1 in 10 stalkers, who had no prior relationship, if they make a threat will act on it
- Stalking is a pattern of repeat and persistent unwanted behaviour that is intrusive and engenders fear. It is when one person becomes fixated or obsessed with another.
02 Jan 19 11:12 AM