Victims and survivors are our central priority, so as part of National Stalking Awareness Week we interviewed one of our clients, Grace*, who used the Aurora Stalking service – In this blog post Grace speaks to survivors about her experience.
Q: How did you find the support helped you?
A: It’s difficult to adequately express the level of professionalism offered with a genuine empathetic ear from everyone that I dealt with.
The support was a major part of keeping me safe and well physically but more vital mentally.
The support also gave me a realistic understanding of the process that the police and court system have to follow. It gave me a person in the know and company to court, which I was dreading.
Additionally there were practical things that were suggested to aid me keep records, keep safe and keep going.
Q: Did getting independent support make a difference?
A: Absolutely it made a huge difference to have support and understanding of the problems faced. Coping strategies and experts who weren’t ‘freaked out’ like some family and friends (understandable yet hard to deal with) was key to keeping my sanity. I am certain that I would not have coped without this support to see things through to the courts and the convictions that followed.
Q: What message do you have to share with other victims?
A: Try to focus on the basics of looking after your health with good food, water and try to get some nature (with company if necessary to be safe)
Try to accept that it is not your fault, that you’re not going mad…the brain chunter is going to happen, so find ways to manage it…music, movies, good company and talk it out with trusted friends or the stalking team.
Contact your doctor and keep regular appointments.
Try not to isolate yourself, tell those close to you, work and any other network like spiritual/religious group, neighbours etc. Assess those who are a support or those who may unintentionally add to the stress.
It does get better.
It’s a temporary life hurdle that eventually makes you more resilient, clear on boundaries and clear that you can continue to have a life and that you will not accept any compromise of your boundaries. Also be clear that there are some people who require intervention from the justice system.
You cannot reason with an unreasonable person, get advice immediately from the police or stalking team and stick to it.
We would like to express a huge thank you to Grace for sharing her experience.
If you are concerned you are being stalked please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02392 479254
For those outside of Hampshire and the IOW you can also contact the services below, they will put you in contact with local specialist stalking services or support you directly:
National stalking helpline – 0808 802 0300 run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust – The Helpline is open 09:30 to 16:00 weekdays except for Wednesdays when it is open 13:00 to 16:00. The Helpline is not open on bank holidays.
Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service – Telephone: 020 3866 4107.
*Not her real name