Victims of stalking urged to seek help
Victims of stalking in Norfolk are being urged to seek help as a national campaign aimed at highlighting the issue gets under way.
The purpose of National Stalking Awareness Week, which takes place this week, is to encourage those who believe they are being targeted to speak out.
Detective Superintendent Julie Wvendth, of Norfolk Constabulary’s Safeguarding and Investigations Command, said: “Stalking often has a huge emotional impact on the victim who can feel very much alone and unable to seek help for fear of repercussions or that they will not be taken seriously.
“However we would ask that if you have concerns you come forward. You shouldn’t feel as though you’re wasting our time or that you’re over-reacting.
Stalking is repeated unwanted contact from one person to another, which demonstrates either a fixation or obsession and causes the victim to feel alarm, distress or fear of violence. It may involve personal contact but also via the phone, email, letter or social media.
Types of stalking behaviour:
Taken in isolation, events might seem unremarkable. But in particular circumstances and with repetition, they take on a more sinister meaning.
Unwanted communications may include telephone calls, letters, emails, faxes, texts, messages on social networking sites, graffiti or sending or leaving unsolicited gifts.
Unwanted intrusions include following, waiting for, spying on, approaching and going to a person’s home. A stalker may also order or cancel goods or services, make complaints (to legitimate bodies), damage property or follow and try to talk to you online (cyberstalking).
Advice for victims:
- Keep a record of what happened, where and when you were followed or telephoned, or when you received post or email messages
- Details of people who may have seen these events
- Write down information as soon as possible when events are still fresh in your mind
- Tell the police if any neighbours or others saw or heard what happened
- Record how the suspect looked or sounded – what they were wearing and the make, number plate of any involved car
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.
Victims can get more advice and support from:
Norfolk Constabulary on 101(if life is in danger or a crime is in progress, call 999).
National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0800 200 0247.
Please be aware that due to the introduction of new software, a reduced service continues to be provided by Police Connect.
The full service will be resumed as soon as possible.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
News, appeals and information can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.norfolk.police.uk
Message from Chief Inspector Nathan Clark