Harassment can happen anywhere

It involves unwanted and unwelcome words, deeds, actions, gestures, symbols, or behaviours of a sexual nature that make the target feel uncomfortable and can cause the victim alarm and distress.

Stalking is a term used for a particular kind of 'harassment'. Generally it describes a long term pattern of persistent and repeated behaviour. It occurs in a wide variety of situations - the most common reports relate to ex-partners and/or acquaintances. Stalking is a criminal offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Advice for victims

If a person's behaviour towards you is persistent and clearly unwanted, causing you fear, harassment or anxiety, then it is stalking and you should not have to live with it.

There are steps you can take to help deal with this type of behaviour:

  • Keep a record with times, venue and description of what happened and was involved; 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
  • 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 account.

Report it

Important - if you feel that someone's behaviour is putting you at immediate risk then call 999

If you feel that you are being stalked, we would prefer to speak to you on the phone by calling us on 101, or in person.


National Stalking Helpline - 0808 802 0300 (9.30am-4pm weekdays except Wed 1pm-4pm)

Email: advice@stalkinghelpline.org

Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service, 020 7840 8960

Email: info@paladinservice.co.uk

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