Stalking

If you have experienced stalking, remember:

You are not alone. The NUS Hidden Marks survey revealed that 12% of the women students that responded had been stalked whilst they were students at their current institution.

It is not your fault. No one deserves to be stalked and there is no excuse for stalking someone.

There is support available. This website contains information about national stalking support services and your student union will also be able to help you and point you towards any local support services. . All of these services are confidential and will help you take the steps you need to move on.

If you are being stalked by someone you know intimately, please see the domestic violence section.

What is stalking?

Stalking starts with behaviours that if considered in isolation, may well appear innocent.  However when these behaviours are repeated and obsessive they may be sufficient to cause fear, alarm or distress to the victim and amount to harassment contrary to the Protection of Harassment Act 1997. Such behaviours may include:

  • repeatedly following you
  • repeatedly watching you, phoning you, texting, writing, e-mailing, communicating with you through social networking sites
  • repeatedly communicating with you in other ways that seemed obsessive or make you afraid or concerned for your safety
  • turning up at your home or work-place for no reason
  • targeting your friends, family and neighbours including sending them letters, cards and phoning them etc

‘My ex-boyfriend frequently called me to meet up with him alone and would blow up when I refused to do so. He was obsessive and followed my movements and sent me extravagant presents that would lead to a big argument if I confronted him about this being unacceptable behaviour or told him to back off.’

Hidden Marks survey respondent

I am being stalked – what should I do?
I would like to speak to someone about stalking.
How do I recognise a stalker?
I would like to contact a stalking support service.
Can my student union help me?
How can I access free legal advice?
Where can I read about other people’s experiences of stalking?
I think someone is cyber stalking me.
How common is stalking?
I am thinking about reporting stalking.
Am I at risk of serious violence?

I am being stalked – what should I do?

For more information on what to do click here.

I would like to speak to someone about stalking.

National Stalking Helpline

The National Stalking Helpline provides practical advice and information to anybody who is currently or has previously been affected by harassment or stalking. Call this helpline on 0300 636 0300 -  09:30 – 16:00 Weekdays (except Wed 13:00 – 16:00).  Alternatively you can e-mail advice@stalkinghelpline.org

Rights of Women

For free, confidential, legal advice on harassment (including stalking) contact Rights of Women women lawyers on 020 7251 6577 (020 7490 2562 textphone). Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday 2–4pm and 7–9pm. Also open Friday, 12–2pm.

To find out about your legal rights and reporting your experience to your institution or the police, visit the Rights and Reporting section of this website.

How do I recognise a stalker?

Click here for advice on how to recognise a stalker.

I would like to contact a stalking support service.

Network for Surviving Stalking

Network for Surviving Stalking is internationally recognised as the leading Registered Charity in the United Kingdom dedicated to supporting victims of stalking, free of cost or commercial gain. It aims to provide support to victims, potential victims and others affected by stalking/ harassment throughout the UK, to raise awareness of the subject and to provide information about stalking/ harassment and harassment to professionals, relevant agencies and the public.

Can my student union help me?

Yes. Your student union is designed to be your first port-of-call for resolving any problems you experience as a student and will be able to help you find the support you need. If your institution has a Student Advice Service, they will be able to direct you to the most relevant person or service. Alternatively contact the Welfare Officer, Women’s Officer or President of your Student Union.

How can I access free legal advice?

Visit the Rights and Reporting section for more information.

Where can I read about other people’s experiences of stalking?

Tracy Morgan’s web log – the site for stalking victims

Tracy Morgan’s weblog is a rich information source for anyone being stalked/harassed; anyone who thinks they’re being stalked/harassed, or for anyone who wants to help someone in that position; employees of the Criminal Justice Agencies and Lawyers who want to know what it’s like from the victim’s perspective. The website includes victims’ accounts of being stalked.

Click here to visit the weblog.

I think someone is cyber stalking me.

E- Victims

E-Victims is a Community Interest Company (CIC), set up to help the Internet community and regulated by the CIC Regulator. They can provide advice and support to those who are affected by electronic crime such as malicious e-mails and cyber stalking. Visit the E- Victims website for advice about dealing with online stalking and harassment.

How common is stalking of women students?

The NUS Hidden Marks survey found that 12% of the women students that responded had been stalked whilst they were students at their current institution. Respondents reported the behaviour lasting from between a few weeks to a year or more, with the majority of incidents lasting for less than six months. The longer the behaviour continued, the greater the impact on women students in terms of their health, studies and relationships.

How common is stalking nationally?

The 2008/9 British Crime Survey reported that in the year preceding the survey 4.4% of women had been subject to stalking, and estimated that 19.9% of women experience stalking or harassment at some point in their lifetimes. In comparison, student women appear to be at particular risk of this kind of crime. This may be because of the high numbers of people that students meet and associate with in a short space of time and the intensity with which relationships are formed when people move away from home for the first time.

I am thinking about reporting stalking.

Visit the Rights and Reporting section for more information.

Am I at risk of serious violence?

Network for Surviving Stalking Risk Checklist

A number of warning signs (or behaviours of concern) have been identified as being associated with serious violence and murder through profiling many cases.

V-DASH Checklist

Laura Richards BSc, MSc, FRSA, Criminal Behavioural Psychologist, has created a checklist for those at risk from stalking, domestic abuse or honour based violence. If you are concerned by what is happening to you, complete the V-DASH Checklist.

Please note: the outcome of these check lists should not be relied upon as a concrete evidence of the seriousness of a situation, merely an indication.

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