What is Stalking?
It is hard to give an exact definition of stalking because stalkers will often use multiple and differing methods to harass their victims. Stalking can consist of any type of behaviour such as regularly sending flowers or gifts, making unwanted or malicious communication (including calls, texts and emails), damaging property and physical or sexual assault. If the behaviour is persistent, unwanted and is causing you fear, harassment or anxiety then it is stalking and you should not have to live with it.
What is the law that deals with stalking?
As of 25th November 2012 amendments to the Protection from Harassment Act have been made that makes stalking a specific offence in England and Wales for the first time. The amendments were made under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The amendments can only be used to deal with stalking incidents that occur after 25th November 2012; stalking prior to this will still be dealt with as ‘harassment’ under sections 2 and 4 of the Protection from Harassment Act. You can find more information about each of these laws on the Helpline website.
Are you a legal professional wanting to know more about stalking and the law? Click here for details about our upcoming seminar.
What does the National Stalking Helpline do?
The National Stalking Helpline provides guidance and information to anybody who is currently or has previously been affected by harassment or stalking. The Helpline can provide guidance on:
- The law in relation to stalking and harassment
- Reporting stalking or harassment
- Effective gathering of evidence
- Ensuring your personal safety and that of your friends and family
- Practical steps to reduce the risk
How do I contact the Helpline?
The Helpline is open 09:30 to 16:00 weekdays except Wednesdays when it is open 13:00 to 16:00. The Helpline is not open on bank holidays.
You can call the Helpline during opening hours on 0808 802 0300. Calls are free from all landline telephones and also from mobiles using the O2, Orange, T Mobile, Three (3), Virgin, and Vodafone networks. Calls will not be shown on BT landline bills. If you are using another telephone provider please enquire with them about whether 0808 80 numbers will appear on your phone bill.
You can also email the Helpline by clicking here. However replies will only be sent during opening hours.
You can access the Helpline’s online forums 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the Helpline website. The forums provide guidance and information for victims and professionals, they also provide a place where victims can receive emotional support from people who have gone through similar experiences.
Put a STOP to stalking
- Say no – Tell the person once that you do not want any further contact then do not respond to them any more.
- Take Notes - Keep a diary and save evidence like text messages, emails and screenshots of any online activity.
- Options – Call the National Stalking Helpline to discuss your options.
- Police – Stalking behaviour is illegal and the police can take action.
For personal safety tips and advice please see our free tips page by clicking here.
For further information, tips and guidance for people affected by stalking visit the Helpline website.
If you are a journalist and would like to speak to someone at the Helpline please call the Suzy Lamplugh Trust press office on 07747 611308 and we can put you in touch with a Helpline representative.
Please donate to the National Stalking Helpline and help us continue to provide guidance to those who are being stalked, helping them to rebuild their lives.
To donate simply text NASH 11 to 70070 followed by the amount you would like to give. e.g/ NASH 11 £5