How to support those experiencing Stalking

When victims of stalking talk about their experiences it sometimes does not sound as serious as it is because the person stalking them is not overtly aggressive or threatening. As a result it is common for those experiencing stalking to feel embarrassed for reporting it and for feeling threatened by it.
It is not unusual for victims of stalking to play down the importance, the impact and the experience and it is not unusual for those close to the person being stalked to not take it seriously.

When supporting a victim of stalking it is important to be clear that the behaviours of stalkers does not need to be threatening. If the behaviour is repetitive and unwanted it is stalking.  For example if someone kept leaving gifts on your doorstep and you did not want contact with that person you would feel frightened as you would know the person had been at your house and know where you live.

If someone you know is experiencing stalking here is some advice on how they can make themselves safer. It is also important to report stalking either through support and report or directly to the police. Stalking is a crime.

Golden Rules for Victims:
1. REPORT IT AND TELL OTHERS – report it to the police and ensure other people know about it including your family, friends, neighbours, workplace, children’s nursery/school. 
2. ENSURE YOU GET GOOD PRACTICAL ADVICE - contact the National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300 
3. PROACTIVE EVIDENCE COLLECTION – ensure you keep all messages/gifts preserving all the evidence. You can also film or video the stalker to collect evidence and if followed in a car take them to an area with lots of CCTV for example. 
4. OVERVIEW OF WHAT’S HAPPENING- KEEP A DIARY - log what is happening including time, date and details of what happened. 
5. R ISK CHECKLIST - COMPLETE THE 11 RISK SCREENING QUESTIONS - If you think you are at risk complete the stalking screening checklist http://www. 
6. TRUST YOUR INSTINCT AND NEVER MAKE CONTACT WITH YOUR STALKER– always trust your instinct and if you are frightened or worried call the police or go to safe place. Ensure you do not contact or respond to the stalker in any other way. 

There are two ways you can tell us what happened