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18 Apr 2012
One in five women and one in ten men will be
stalked at some point in their life.
Today (18th April) is National Stalking Awareness
Day, as well as being two years since the launch of the
National Stalking Helpline. The charities who run the Helpline –
Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Protection Against Stalking and Network for
Surviving Stalking, alongside the National Cyberstalking Research
Centre - have shown that although individuals are more likely to
become a victim of stalking than any other kind of inter-personal
violence, the crime is not being taken seriously enough.
Cheshire Police is committed to dealing with all reports
of stalking and harassment and is reminding people that
this kind of behaviour may result in criminal prosecution. It has
now been two years since the launch of the National Stalking
Helpline. It is receiving more calls than ever before. An offence
of stalking is still in the political pipeline but action is
currently possible under the Protection from Harassment Act.
Detective Sergeant Angela Burns, from the Cheshire Police
Strategic Public Protection Unit said,
Cheshire Police Strategic
We take all reports of stalking and harassment very seriously
and take positive action to protect victims of
this crime and ensure support services are offered.
The effects on a victim can be feelings of isolation,
helplessness and violation. Twenty five per cent of victims develop
suicidal thoughts and many have to make lifestyle changes.
Stalking and harassment can be hard to define as it encompasses
a wide variety of behaviours. Forms of harassment can
range from someone seeking a romantic relationship to
violent predatory behaviour being carried out. Even in cases where
there is no physical assault, stalking changes lives; victims have
described stalking as mental rape. Stalkers, in the vast majority
of cases are known to the victim, they may have had a casual or
intimate association, however they can also be strangers.
Online communication has provided another outlet for stalkers to
harass their victims, it is important that it is recognised as
seriously as ‘off line’ stalking. Research carried out by the
National Stalking Helpline found that 54.7% of men and 43.1% of
women gave up social activities as a result of being cyberstalked.
A guide called ‘Digital Stalking: A guide to technology risks’ has
been published and provides victims with invaluable information and
Anyone being stalked or harassed should come forward, so they
can receive the help and support required. More advice is available
on the Cheshire Police website or
you can call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802
0300. If you are in danger always dial
999, in a non emergency dial