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Stalking is when 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. It can also include where someone causes you to fear that violence will be used against you, or someone close to you. 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.

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 can include:

Unwanted behaviours

  • Loitering around your home.
  • Spying or tracking your movements (online, using technology or in person).
  • Following you.
  • Making unwanted approaches to you (at home, work, in public).
  • Making unwanted approaches to friends, family or colleagues.
  • Interfering with or damaging your property, breaking into your home.

 Threats or abuse

  • Threats to harm you or those close to you.
  • Threats to harm themselves around you.
  • Physical attacks or attempted physical attacks.
  • Sexual violence or attempted sexual violence.

 Malicious communication

  • Sending inappropriate letters, texts, WhatsApp messages, emails or social media messages.
  • Making inappropriate or malicious telephone calls to you.
  • Sending unwanted gifts.

Reputational damage

  • Distributing malicious material about you (e.g. flyers, websites, posters, newspaper ads).
  • Engaging in inappropriate or malicious social media contacts (e.g. X, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat).
  • Initiating false legal action against you.
  • Making false complaints to agencies.
  • Taking pictures/recordings of you without your consent.
  • Sharing private images of you that are of a very personal nature (e.g. nude images, sexual images).

Stalking is a crime. Learn about your rights and options here.

All these signs are serious. You do not need to experience several, or all of them, to indicate stalking.

You are not alone.

The Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline supports all victims of stalking. Talk to us today.