New research released by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust shows that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 12 men will experience stalking during their lifetime. Last year alone 4.9% of women and 2.4% of men reported a case of stalking â€“ figures which equate to 734,000 women and 388,000 men each year. Stalking is illegal and it can be a form of domestic abuse, with the perpetrator using it as a means of building power and control over the victim.
To help raise awareness of the issue, this week is designated National Stalking Awareness Week. It is using the theme â€˜Stalking Countsâ€™ to highlight that there is a lot more to be done to tackle the issue and provide support to victims of stalking.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust defines stalking as:
â€œThe repeated, unwanted contact that occurs as a result of fixation or obsession and causes the victim(s) to feel distressed or fearfulâ€
Their statistics show that:
The issue of stalking has hit the headlines this week with the news that singer Lily Allen was stalked for seven years. As a high-profile individual, you would expect that someone in Lilyâ€™s position would receive special treatment. However, following her complaints that the police dismissed her concerns and treated them in isolation, leading organisations have suggested that this is commonplace for many victims and highlights the importance of the #StalkingCounts campaign.
In an interview with the Observer newspaper, Allen explained:
â€œHe would drop off these letters at my record company, my management offices, my sisterâ€™s shop, my flat. It was freaking me out a bit and Iâ€™m not easily scared, so the fact I went to the police with the letters show how serious I felt it was. Alarm bells were ringing. But I felt comforted by the fact that I was telling the police, I was keeping a record.â€ She went on to add â€œI felt very alone. I have some trust issues now, not least with the police. Who can you trust if you cannot trust institutions like the police?â€
Within the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence (DASH) Risk Identification, Assessment and Management Model, stalking is listed as one of fifteen high risk factors of serious harm and homicide in domestic abuse cases. Anyone contacting Leeway with concerns about stalking will be treated with the utmost seriousness and urgency. By working with local organisations, we can make sure that you receive the relevant help and support you require.
For FREE confidential advice, please contact our 24-hour helpline on 0300 561 0077 or in an emergency ring 999. Support is also available via the National Stalking Helpline and you can contact them on 0808 802 0300.