Stalking is a pattern of unwanted or repeated behaviour from an ex-partner, someone you know, or a stranger, that causes you to feel scared or distressed. It can cause intimidation and can have devastating outcomes in the most serious of cases.
What is stalking
It could include behaviour such as someone:
- sending you unwanted gifts
- making continuous calls
- sending texts or emails
- damaging your property or things you own
- physically or sexual assaulting you
- hacking your social media accounts
- contacting your family or friends to get to you
- spying on you
- following you
If the behaviours are also fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repeated then you could be a victim of stalking.
What to do if you are being stalked
You should keep records or a diary of the stalking behaviours you are experiencing. Remember to keep any emails, parcels, letters, even if they are distressing, as these can be used as evidence. If you feel in danger, you should call the police.
- report it to the police (if you are in immediate danger call 999)
- do not confront or engage with your stalker
- do not respond to calls or texts or emails
- you should keep records or a diary
- keep letters, emails, parcels as evidence
- keep copies of emails
- record telephone conversations if you can
- tell your friends, neighbours and work colleagues about the stalking
- keep any stored messages or texts
- contact your telephone company to see if they can take action against unwanted calls
How to get help
You can get help or advice by contacting:
- National Stalking Helpline information
- Suzy Lamplugh Trust
- Womens' Aid NI - local groups
- Men's Advisory Panel
- Victim Support NI
- Action against Stalking
- ASSIST NI
Reporting a Crime
Stalking is a crime. If you are being stalked you should report it to the police.
Stalking Protection Orders
If you are being stalked, the police can apply for a Stalking Protection Order (SPO). A SPO will let police get involved at an early stage of a stalking case, so they can try to stop stalking behaviours before any stalking becomes more serious.