This month, we are launching our Reach Appeal for the National Stalking Helpline, and we need your help to ensure our success 

The National Stalking Helpline responds to almost 5,000 calls and emails from victims annually, offering non-judgmental, practical support to victims of stalking. In the last few years, we have grown the National Stalking Helpline, not only in breadth but also in depth. Since we launched the Helpline eight years ago, the number of requests for help we can respond to each year has almost tripled. In 2015 we also launched a new casework service, offering longer term, more intensive support to a smaller number of victims with more complex cases, liaising and advocating on their behalf with criminal justice (and other) agencies to ensure they receive a safe and appropriate response. 

We are approaching the end of two large grants for the National Stalking Helpline and, while we have applied for continuation of both, these are not yet guaranteed. We are launching this appeal to ensure that we can continue to meet the ever-increasing demand on this service, particularly while we await these major funding decisions. The Reach Appeal has a number of goals, and we’d love your support to help us achieve them: 

Help us reach more victims of stalking with guidance and support.  
Currently, many people who call the National Stalking Helpline can’t get through.  

Help someone being stalked to reach out and pick up the phone, rather than suffering in silence.  
1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will experience stalking at some point in their lives, making stalking one of the most common forms of interpersonal violence.  

Reach out to someone when they need it most.  
Stalking is terrifying, isolating and insidious – sometimes all a victim wants is to be heard and believed.  

Help our information reach more people who are experiencing stalking but don’t know it.  
Those victims who don’t realize that what they are experiencing is a crime may not be aware of the danger they could be in – it’s vital that we raise awareness. 

What could your donation do? 

  • £10 could help fund the training of one of our dedicated volunteers, who support advisors in responding to emails, giving advice and support directly to victims of stalking 

  • £20 could pay for one call from another professional to be answered: our advisors often assist social workers, domestic abuse professionals and police officers in how they can best support stalking victims and ensure they get the best possible outcome

  • £40 could fund our advisors to answer one call from a victim: our calls often take over an hour as stalking is so complex, and our expert advisors risk-assess each client and provide them with detailed advice and safety-planning information, as well as explaining how the criminal and civil legal systems could help them 

  • £100 could cover the full costs of running the helpline service for an hour

  • £1,100 could cover the cost of supporting a victim via our casework service: because stalking can affect so many parts of a victim's life, the support can involve advocating with dozens of professionals, agencies and services to ensure the victim is given proper safety, support and justice

  • £4,000 could cover the full costs of running the helpline service for a week
     

Kelly's story

Kelly was stalked by someone who she knew through her workplace. The stalking behaviours included, but were not limited to, repeated text messages, hand-delivered letters to Kelly’s house, criminal damage, multiple vexatious complaints, sending life insurance documents to Kelly and threats to burn down Kelly’s workplace. When Kelly reported this to the police, they issued her perpetrator with a verbal warning. The perpetrator ignored this warning and police then issued a written warning, a PIN (Police Information Notice).

Kelly contacted the National Stalking Helpline for support and was extremely distressed as the police were taking no real action. The police repeatedly told her that this was a workplace issue and it was not for them to intervene. Taking on Kelly’s case allowed the National Stalking Helpline’s senior stalking advocate, Annie, to check in on her regularly, reassure her that she didn’t deserve what was happening to her and talk her through detailed safety plans. Annie also liaised with her workplace to try and ensure a robust safety plan was in place whilst she was at work. Annie advocated for Kelly with the police and the CPS and was able to persuade the police to take appropriate action. The perpetrator was charged with a ‘Section 4a’ stalking offence and received a 12-month suspended sentence and a restraining order.

Shortly after the hearing, the perpetrator breached the restraining order and continued to stalk Kelly. Kelly’s case was accepted by the National Stalking Helpline again due to worrying comments made by the police about ‘plans to speak to’ the perpetrator, despite there being very clear evidence that what was needed was an arrest. The National Stalking Helpline once again advocated for appropriate police action. This resulted in another court case, and the perpetrator was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment. Due to the high level of fixation present on the part of Kelly’s stalker, we have ensured that Kelly is linked in with the probation team so she is fully aware of the perpetrator’s release date.

Kelly said, “Thank you for your help. I would not have received this result without you and the National Stalking Helpline. I cannot thank you enough for your assistance. It greatly helped to have someone there to talk to and for their help during the case. Without the help of Annie, my stalking advocate from the National Stalking Helpline, I do not believe that I would ever have had the case bought to court by the police. Annie was there to provide me with advice and help me through the terrible ordeal. I cannot thank her enough for her help.

How can you help victims like Kelly? 

  1. Make a donation online at www.suzylamplugh.org/reach  
  2. Send us a cheque or sign up for a regular gift
  3. Hold a collection at work or make a donation in place of sending company Christmas cards this year
  4. Tell a friend (or five) about this appeal and why you’re a fan!