Stalking Awareness Week

stalked woman reflects on the week
Posted April 20, 2015 by

What is Stalking Awareness Week?

National Stalking Awareness week is a time every year in which attention is drawn to the serious issues caused by stalker behaviour throughout the UK. In brief, stalking affects hundreds of thousands of men and women, therefore this week is used to put the spotlight on the damage done.

10 Stalking Awareness Week Facts

  • Women are much more frequently stalked than men.
  • 44% of stalking cases lead to violence
  • Of stalking cases, 43% of women and 29% of men who were stalked, were stalked by current or ex partners.
  • In a survey carried out in 2015, it was found that 45% of stalking victims suffered from PTSD.
  • Developments in technology have further complicated matters. In another survey done in 2011, 92% of participants believed that they had been harassed through electronic communication.
  • Very often victims of stalking lose wages due to taking sick leave, quitting their job, or even being sacked.
  • A study done in America found that 1 in 4 women experienced damage to their property as a direct result of stalking.
  • Many victims of stalking withdraw from their family and friends due to embarrassment or a belief that they are endangering them.
  • Stalking victims often suffer from:
    • High levels of anxiety
    • Panic attacks
    • Hyper-vigilance
    • Suicidal idealization
    • distrust and detachment from other people
  • 76% of women who were murdered by their current or former partner were stalked by their killer in the 12 months leading up to their death.

Stalking Awareness Week Dates

2021 April 19 – April 23
2022 April 18 – April 22

woman being stalked weekly

Who stalks?

Hollywood likes to depict stalkers as mentally disturbed individuals or obsessed fans, however this is a common misrepresentation. A stalker could be an ex-partner, a friend, a colleague, a professional you know, an acquaintance or a stranger.

How do they stalk?

There is no legal definition of stalking, but it is generally understood to be a fixation on someone demonstrated through a series of unwanted behaviours that may seem subtle or harmless initially, but become intimidating and very frightening.

These behaviours include, but are not limited to:

  • Persistently calling or texting you or sending you messages via social media
  • Turning up to your house, school or workplace
  • Waiting around places you often go to
  • Sending or leaving you gifts or items
  • Using social media and internet forums to find out information about you
  • Using this information as a way to manipulate or coerce you
  • Damaging or breaking things that belong to you
  • Contacting people around you, such as your friends and family
  • Threatening to harm themselves
  • Making threats against you or any of your friends or family

woman being stalked weekly

What can you do?

Take some time to have a look at your social media privacy settings online and on your phone. Are your location service settings on? Who can see your photos? Who can tag you? Are your historical posts as private as your recent ones? Is there anyone you want to block access from? Do you have any old social media accounts you don’t use anymore that you can close down?

  • If you receive frequent unwanted communication, or you see someone loitering around, keep a diary of what they’re saying and when and where they’re appearing.
  • Take photos of gifts or written messages left for you and any items that have been damaged, but only when it is safe to do so.
  • Do not engage with the person who is stalking you.
  • Change your routine where you can and put other things in place that help you to feel safer – carrying a charged mobile phone on you, for example.
  • Talk to people about what’s happening. Your friends and family may be able to help you keep records of sightings and messages and will be there to support you.
  • Report the stalking to the police. Keep records of the officers you speak with and the crime reference numbers you’re given.

If you’re worried that you’re being stalked and want to talk to someone about it, you can contact Aurora New Dawn on 02392 479 254. We’re available throughout Stalking Awareness Week to support you to explore your options.

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About the author

Writer in Residence

Sarah Cheverton is Aurora New Dawn's Writer in Residence and a freelance writer and researcher. As well as writing the copy for the Aurora website, Sarah works with the Aurora team on consultation responses, communications and service evaluations. She also works as a Co-Editor for feminist news site Women's Views on News.

See all of Writer in Residence's articles — 91 total

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