This article contains themes of domestic abuse and rape. If you are affected by anything in this story please follow the links for support.
To help people spot the signs, to give others suffering the confidence to report and to help understanding of the impact that stalking can have, one brave woman has come forward to tell her story.
“When I met him, little did I know that although he seemed to be the nicest man I had ever met, it would turn out to be the worst mistake of my life. “As friends, we spent nearly every day together, getting on really well but then he changed my life for the worst. “When he called me one day he heard another man in the background and became really angry shouting at me down the phone. I told him that I would not put up with it, it was nothing to do with him who I was with. “From that moment I spent my time terrified of what was going to happen to me. No matter what I did, he knew about it, and was there watching me. “It began with nasty abusive texts and calls constantly all day, every day. “Abusive messages followed by ones telling me that he was sorry. Phone calls telling me that I’m a slag and then that he didn’t mean it. “The texts got worse. He threatened my life and the lives of my friends and family. “He made me doubt everything I knew and everything I was. “If he hadn’t been arrested then I don’t know how this would have turned out. “Finally came the day I stood up in court. I barely got through the first two lines of the oath before I broke down as at that point I knew today would be the day I find out if anyone understood how he has made me feel and how he has impacted my life. “After giving my evidence it felt like a weight had been lifted. The fear was still there but not as intense. It was like someone was finally trying to help me. I had the support of a Police Officer who also stood up and gave evidence for me.”