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Stalking Support

Stalking can be perpetrated by anyone, including intimate partners or ex-intimate partners, someone who wishes to be an intimate partner, family members, acquaintances and strangers. Stalking is now a crime under the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023.

What is Stalking?

Stalking is when someone causes you to fear that violence will be used against you, or someone close to you. It also can include where someone causes you serious alarm or distress that which has a negative impact on your day-to-day life and sense of safety and well-being. Stalking behaviour tends to be fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repeated.

Stalkers can be unpredictable and dangerous and can use technology or a variety of ways to invade your live. Most stalkers use multiple tactics and escalate their behaviours at any time.

If any of these examples are familiar to you, you might be experiencing stalking:

  • Someone following, watching, monitoring, tracking or spying on you.
  • Someone threatening to harm you or someone close to you.
  • Someone pestering you.
  • Someone impersonating you.
  • Someone communicating with others about you or pretending to act or communicate on your behalf.
  • Somone disclosing private information about you to other people.
  • Someone interfering or damaging your property, including your pets.
  • Someone loitering near where you are as you go about your life: at home, at work and socially.
  • Someone interfering with your email and phone communications or online activity.
  • Someone breaching a court order that prohibits them from communicating with or about you or approaching you.

Learn about more signs of stalking.

What can I do if I am being stalked?

You are not alone. It is important to remember that the stalker is fully responsible for their behaviour. You are not to blame. However, there several ways to seek support and review your safety.

  • The Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 can support any victim of stalking, whether the perpetrator is a current or former intimate partner, or another person.
  • We can also support family and friends who are concerned about someone.
  • Our Helpline support workers can provide emotional support and practical information and referral to support agencies.

Learn more about the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline.

  • Talk to a friend or trusted family member. Encourage them to read up about stalking.
  • You may need to inform the people you live with or your employer too.
  • Remember, Women’s Aid can support you if you are concerned about a loved one.

  • Stalking is a crime in Ireland.
  • If at any point, you feel unsafe we would encourage you to call An Garda Síochána. The police should be involved in these situations as early as possible. We know that the sooner there’s some form of formal intervention the sooner it’s likely to stop. We know that stalkers don’t generally stop on their own.
  • Call An Garda Síochána on 999/112 or contact your local Garda station.

  • If your stalker is a current or former intimate partner or family member, you can apply for a protective order (i.e. safety order) under the Domestic Violence Act 2018.

Read about your legal options under the Domestic Violence Act.

  • If you are being followed, watched, or think your stalker may engage in those behaviours then you could look at ways that you can vary your routine. For example, changing the route you take to and from work as well as leaving and arriving at different times.
  • You could also consider implementing a buddy system with a trusted friend or family member so someone else is always on alert should you not arrive somewhere when you are expected to.
  • A buddy system involves letting someone know whenever you are going somewhere, who you are meeting (if appropriate), when they should expect you to check in, and what to do if you do not check in with them.

Read more about safety planning.

Stalkers may exploit online platforms to stalk you. The following steps are suggested:

  • Ensure your devices have not been compromised – if your stalker has ever had access to your phone or any other device, or you think they may have been hacked turn the device off immediately and seek professional advice.
  • Review your privacy settings on all social media, and encourage friends and family to do the same
  • Review your online presence by typing your name on search engines to see what information is available to the public
  • Change email, social media and bank account passwords regularly, and ensure than security questions can’t be guessed or are answers your stalker could know
  • Ensure yourself and friends and family don’t post pictures / details online that can reveal your location or information about you

Read more about digital safety.

  • Keep a log of any incidents and any evidence you may have. A log can help you and support services see if your situation is escalating and better understand if there is a pattern of behaviour. Importantly, if you report to An Garda Síochána, it allows them to see that these are not isolated incidents.
  • Please remember that you do not need to have made a log or have collected evidence to make a report to the police – it can help make the situation clearer to them.

  • Consider cutting off all communication with the stalker. Many stalkers misinterpret any contact, even negative, as reinforcement or encouragement. This includes online communication and activity. While disengagement is advisable, it is not always possible or realistic to stop all communication (e.g. where there are access and custody arrangements).

Read more about safety planning.