National Stalking Awareness Week 2016
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
During National Stalking Awareness Week 2016, which runs from 18th-24th April, Suzy Lamplugh Trust is highlighting the issue of online stalking.
At Muddy Matches we take personal safety very seriously and we would therefore like to share some of the advice that Suzy Lamplugh Trust website.
What is stalking?
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust defines stalking as repeated, unwanted contact that occurs as a result of fixation or obsession and causes the victim(s) to feel distressed or fearful. Stalking is characterised by obsession and is therefore a crime of persistence. Victims can be stalked for years with the average case lasting fifteen months. However, many cases last longer than this and 30% of people who contact the National Stalking Helpline, which is run by Suzy Lamplugh Trust have experienced stalking for over two years and a further 13% have been stalked for over five years.
How to identify stalking
Unwanted attention can include unwanted contact via social media, text messages, phone calls, letters, gifts and contact via friends or family. Stalking can also include physical and sexual violence and damage to the victim’s property or possessions.
Online dating safety advice
The most important thing that you can do is to protect your personal details while online dating. This means that you should not include your phone number, address, email address, or full name in your dating profile.
At Muddy Matches we also ask members not to include the name of the village where they live, the name of their place of work, or any details of where they work.
It is also a sensible idea to use a profile photo that is not linked to any other information online.
If you feel that someone’s behaviour is of concern, we ask that you get in contact with us, in addition to speaking to your local police officer.
What to do if you are being stalked
Fill in the The Victim Stalking DASH (VS–DASH) Risk Identification Checklist and take it along to your local police station, adding in as much detail as possible.
Keep a record of any harassment that occurs, including screen shots of text messages and online conversations.
The National Stalking Helpline team will be hosting a live Twitter Q&A on Thursday 21st April from 10am – 11am. You can follow the conversation with #StalkingCounts