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Stalking and Harassment

Advice and Guidance

If you have been a victim of crime, don’t suffer in silence. Even if you do not want to report the crime to the police, think about telling a trusted friend or family member so they can help and support you. Nottinghamshire Victim CARE can also provide you with help and support even if you do not want to report the crime to the Police.

Victim CARE can provide:

  • Emotional support to help you cope and recover from the crime
  • Advocacy with other agencies and organisations
  • Advice on crime prevention and provision of target hardening equipment (if required)
  • Practical support and advice
  • Restorative Justice 
  • Support applying to Criminal Injuries Compensation (CICA)

Call Nottinghamshire Victim CARE on 0800 304 7575 or click here to request a call back.

If you do want to report the crime to the police please see reporting a crime.

Stalking is any persistent and unwanted behaviour, that makes you feel scared or upset. Suzy Lamplugh Trust's definition of Stalking is '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 can be perpetrated by both men and women, and you may or may not know the perpetrator.

Stalking behaviour could constitute:

  • Following someone or waiting for them
  • Sending gifts or flowers
  • Unwanted or malicious communication
  • Watching or spying on someone
  • Turning up at someones home or workplace
  • Damaging your possessions
  • Making threats to hurt someone

Stalking can sometimes seem trivial, and you might be worried to seem like you are 'making a fuss' - but it is important that you tell someone if any of this is happening to you as Stalking is a crime. 

You might feel that there is no threat from the perpetrator's behaviour, and that their behaviour is harmless, however it is important to report it and get support, as statistics show that Stalking can get progressively worse and become dangerous, and won't simply go away on it's own if it is ignored.

In Nottinghamshire you can access free and confidential support for stalking:

Non Domestic Stalking - (if you haven't been in a relationship with the perpetrator)

Women’s Helpline: 0115 947 6490

Men’s Helpline: 0115 960 5556

Domestic Stalking - (if you have been in a relationship with the perpetrator)

Women’s helpline: 0808 800 0340

Men’s helpline: 0115 960 5556

(for more information on this also see our pages on Domestic Abuse. )

Harassment is any persistent unwanted behaviour that you find offensive and causes you to feel humiliated and intimidated.

The behaviour could include:

  • Messages or comments on social media or through email 
  • Verbal abuse or threats face to face
  • Phone calls or letters
  • Damaging your property to intimidate you

Harassment can be a standalone incident, but can also be part of someone's stalking behaviour, so it is important to tell someone, or report it to the Police, to stop it as soon as possible.

If you are unsure whether the Harassment you are experiencing is part of Stalking, see the section on 'What is Stalking?' for information and support.

Looking After Yourself

Everyone reacts differently to experiencing a crime. It is important however to recognise that whatever has happened to you, it can still feel like a violation.

If you have any physical injuries, it is important that you get these checked out as soon as possible at either a walk in centre or Accident and Emergency – you can find your local urgent care centre here

You might also find that you feel suddenly quite emotional, you might struggle to sleep properly or feel anxious being in your home or out and about. It is important that you recognise that all of these are not unusual to experience following any crime.

Some ways you can help yourself during this time:

  • Let your friends and family know what has happened, and if you feel comfortable, tell them how you feel
  • If possible, speak to your workplace or school – see whether they can offer flexibility or time off to sort things out
  • If you are struggling with your emotional wellbeing, speak to your GP – they may be able to refer you for counselling

The NHS Moodzone pages have a lot of tips on how to boost your emotional wellbeing which you can find here.

According to the Network for Surviving Stalking, there are a number of practical ways you can stay safe if you think you are being stalked:

  • Listen to your instinct – if you are frightened tell someone
  • If you are being followed on foot, make for a shop or house with lights on
  • If you are being followed when you are driving make for somewhere with CCTV coverage – e.g. most petrol stations or drive to a police station
  • Keep evidence. Even if you are disgusted by the gifts/ messages DO NOT give in to the temptation to burn/ destroy the evidence. Find a box, put the evidence in there and keep it safe until you choose to use it.
  • Keep a diary of evidence, one page for each event
    • Date and time
    • What happened
    • How it happened, was it planned, by whom
    • Who was there, how do you know them
    • What did you see, did anyone else see this
    • What did you hear, did anyone else hear this
    • What was said and to whom
    • What was said as a reply and by whom
    • Was any damage caused, what and by whom
    • Was anything left behind – if so keep it
    • Was anything stolen, what and by whom
    • If there was anyone else there then write down their names and contact details, plus anything else you know about how they might be contacted
    • Write down how you felt after the incident – this can help you if you need to write a Victim Impact Statement later.
  • NEVER make contact with the stalker. Not just for your own safety but for credibility too. Stalking is about the victim’s perception – if you go looking for the stalker/ agree to meet, send letters, make phone calls, send text messages it make the whole thing less clear to people whose help you may need – e.g. Police.
  • Every Police service in England and Wales now has a Single Point of Contact (they call it SPOC) for stalking victims. You can ask for them if you call the police and it is a non-emergency