There are many types of harassment, such as:
- Driving past your home or work.
- Following or watching you.
- Sending you unwanted letters or gifts.
- Damaging your property.
- Harassment and stalking online
Stalking is a long term, persistent kind of ‘harassment’, often by an ex-partner or somebody you know. It is a criminal offence and can happen in many situations.
How you may be affected
We’re all different and react to things differently, but feeling scared, worried, isolated or angry are all perfectly normal.
Harassment and stalking are often not reported because the victim feels trapped and alone, or worries that others won’t take them seriously. The truth is, it can happen to anybody – and does happen to many people – and there is always a way out.
Steps you can take
If you think you are being harassed or stalked, you must always remember that you can get support and help from us. Nothing that has happened to you is your fault.
If you are unsure, go with your instincts. Anything that doesn’t feel right probably isn’t.
You may feel alone and that no-one can help, but just talking to someone here about what you are going through will make you realise that there are people on your side. We will listen and can guide you to specialist organisations who will help you understand your choices.
- Write down anything that you think is harassment. Include the other person’s behaviour and how it made you feel.
- Keep all written messages and ‘gifts’.
- Save texts and, if you can, keep a screenshot in another place in case your phone is lost or stolen.
- Record any voicemail messages. Most networks delete these after a set time.
- Answer any unknown phone calls with a simple ‘hello’, not your name. Never answer any questions about yourself if you don’t know who is calling.
- Think about getting a home alarm system, if you don’t already have one.
- If you think you are in danger, call the police immediately on 999.
- Stay secure by changing all passwords regularly. Never share these with anyone.
- Block the person who is harassing you.
- Never accept a friend request from anyone you don’t know.
- Think about your social media posts: do you really need to share information about where you are or going, holidays, your family or new job?
- Change your account privacy settings to ‘friends only’ or ‘only me’. This will control who can see your information.
- If you go on social media from your mobile, use a PIN or security code to stop anyone else getting to your accounts.
- Turn off GPS location settings and don’t ‘check in’ to places on Facebook.