What is Stalking and Harassment?

Harassment is a term used to cover acts of 'causing alarm or distress' and 'putting people in fear of violence' and includes harassment by two or more persons or harassment against more than one victim or indeed to members of a group or particular employment.

Harassment can include repeated attempts to impose unwanted communications and contacts upon a victim in a manner that could be expected to cause distress or fear in any reasonable person. It can also occur when a person is harassing others connected with the individual, knowing that this behaviour will affect their victim.

On 25th November 2012 The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 created two new offences of Stalking and sets out examples which can be associated with stalking including: following, contacting, or attempting to contact a person by any means or other intrusions into the victim's privacy such as loitering, watching or spying on a person.

The effect of such behaviour is to curtail a victim's freedom, leaving them feeling that they constantly have to be careful. In isolation the conduct might appear innocent but when carried out repeatedly so as to amount to a course of conduct, it may then cause significant alarm, harassment or distress to the victim.

  • Over 1.2 million women and 900,000 men are stalked every year according to the British Crime

  • 8% of women and 6% of men are stalked every year (BCS)

  • 19% of women and 12% of men have experienced stalking or harassment at some point in their lives. BCS)

  • 50% of stalking cases involve ex-partners. Statistically these victims are at a higher risk of violence.

  • Early intervention in a stalking case is important – it can stop it and gives the victim the best chance of protection

  • Many people don’t recognise what’s happening until it’s too late.

Key information

  • If you or someone you know is being stalked help is available: ring the National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300/email advice@stalkinghelpline.org

  • Stalking is against the Law in the UK. Do you know which law it comes under? http://www.stalkinghelpline.org/faq/about-the-law/

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men are stalked at some point in their life. Would you know what protective measures are available if you or someone you know fall victim to a stalker?

  • If you are being stalked keep a diary of all of the incidents this can be very helpful when speaking to the police or a solicitor

  • Stalkers often gain information online: do you know what information about you is available on the internet?

  • The law to protect people from stalking in England and Wales is the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. It was amended in November 2012 to include ‘stalking’

  • Stalking can be a very isolating experience. Why not join the National Stalking Helpline Forum where you can talk to others who are experiencing similar- http://www.stalkinghelpline.org/home/forums/

  • If you are being cyberstalked or believe someone has access to your private information and profiles check out this website for some very useful information- http://www.digital-stalking.com/

  • The police can take action if you are being stalked- there does not have to be any direct threats of violence to have happened before they are able to do anything

  • You can report harassment to the police by either going into your local police station or by calling 101

  • Stalking is a serious offence. The maximum sentence a stalker can receive in England and Wales is 5 years jail

National Stalking Awareness Week

Is it stalking? National Stalking Awareness Week

The National Stalking Awareness Week 2015 campaign is called Is It Stalking?

Find out more by viewing the below video.