Always call 999 immediately if you think you are in danger

Abusive partners and ex-partners find a number of ways to stalk and harass, in person, and increasingly online or digitally. Monitoring and harassing are a common part of abusive behaviour. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust defines stalking as "A pattern of fixated and obsessive behaviour which is repeated, persistent, intrusive and causes fear of violence or engenders alarm and distress in the victim."

Stalking is illegal. To report an incident (which is not an emergency) call 101.

Stalking and harassment in person can include:

  • Following and checking your whereabouts
  • Using a doorbell camera to monitor who comes to the house
  • Spying on you in different ways
  • Invading your privacy, checking up on you, sending you unwanted texts and other messages
  • Repeated threats, or other stalking behaviour which makes you scared

Stalking by a complete stranger does happen. But recent research about stalking and homicide shows that most of the women victims of men's stalking are being stalked by a current or previous partner (see Monckton Smith et al, Exploring the Relationship between Stalking and Homicide (in association with Suzy Lamplugh Trust), published online: Univ. of Glos., 2017)

Online stalking, or Cyberstalking, is a growing method of stalking. This includes behaviour such as stalking on different social media outlets. The National Stalking Helpline, run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, is a great source of information and advice, and they say:

We regard cyberstalking as an extension of ‘offline’ stalking and consider online contact by stalkers with their victims as one of many tools in the stalker’s arsenal rather than a new crime. The majority of cases ... involve elements of both online contact, for example emails or messages posted on social networking sites, and offline contact, for example sending gifts or following. Cyberstalking should be treated as seriously as stalking.

Key advice around stalking includes:

Always trust yourself and your instincts
Ring 999 if you are afraid of being harmed
Keep a diary and other evidence of the stalking
Report it to the police as soon as you can

If you think you are being stalked by your partner or ex-, talk to our Domestic Abuse Service at JWA as soon as possible.