As National Stalking Awareness Week (19 - 23 April) continues we are offering advice to help anyone receiving obsessive, unwanted attention.
Tips on how to deal with this type of behaviour:
• Keep a record with times, venue and description of what happened; write down information as soon as possible when events are still fresh in your mind
• Record how the suspect looked and sounded - what they were wearing and the make and number plate of any vehicle involved
• Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times
• Think about your phone settings - use a PIN with random numbers; turn off geo-location services in camera apps and your mobile settings; don't use apps that tell you where friends are, check you in etc.
• Report it
This year's theme is "Unmasking Stalking – A Changing Landscape" - focusing on changes in perpetrator behaviour; since the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been a notable rise in cyber elements.
Tips on keeping the "online part of you" safe:
• Use a safe computer - use a different computer, belonging to a friend or library, until you can install anti-spyware software on your computer; delete all online accounts; obtain several new e-mail addresses and don't use your name or nickname as a stalker could identify you; create new passwords and password protect your computer
• Social networks are not secure - your friends can easily share information that can help an abuser track you down. Make sure you use strict privacy settings or, if possible, delete your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc. account
• Report it
If you are being stalked, contact us on 101. If you are in immediate danger call 999.
There is also support and advice from the Suzy Lampugh Trust on the National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300, and through the Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service on 020 3866 4107.