24 April 2015

National Stalking Awareness Week - what to do if you think you may be a victim

DC Rachel Freeman
Investigator trainer

Hello again,

Would you know what to do if you are suffering at the hands of a stalker? If the honest answer is no, please keep reading. If the answer was yes, humour me and keep reading as well – there may be something you find useful.

Being stalked or harassed can be extremely alarming and frightening. It is the repetition of the behaviour that makes it even more sinister. Recent advice issued for victims is summed up using the mnemonic REPORT* – hopefully this makes it a little easier to remember.

•    REPORT IT AND TELL OTHERS - contact the police and talk to your family and friends.

•    ENSURE YOU GET GOOD ADVICE - talk to people with experience of this issue -  call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 8020 300 or visit www.stalkinghelpline.org

•    Be PROACTIVE – keep all messages, gifts, communications, letters, and preserve them. If you are followed in a car, drive through an area where you know there are CCTV cameras. I must stress however that if you feel in immediate danger you should try to find somewhere safe and call 999 immediately.

•    OVERVIEW: KEEP A DIARY - log what is happening including the time, date and details. Once again, it must be stressed, if you feel you are in immediate danger, the diary is no substitute for calling the police on 999.

•    RISK CHECKLIST – once reported, the police will usually ask you questions in order to complete a risk screening checklist. If you think you are at risk, and a checklist has not already been completed, you can download and complete your own. Once completed, pass this to the police for them to consider.

•    TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS AND NEVER MAKE CONTACT WITH YOUR STALKER - if you are frightened or worried, call 999 and go to a safe place. It is advised that victims do not contact or respond to a stalker in any other way. 
In my next blog, we’ll look at the do’s and don’ts, the common misconceptions about stalking and advice on what not to say to someone if they think they’re being stalked.


*Information reproduced courtesy of Laura Richards. For further information about about her work on stalking and domestic abuse, visit www.laurarichards.co.uk