Stalking will not stop during lockdown

Stalkers are fixated and obsessed. During the current lockdown they will not stop stalking.

In fact, they may well have more time to develop their fixation and obsession—even if they are not able to reach their victim physically.

On-line contact can be just as distressing as a knock at the door. It can be equally alarming if someone is using their daily exercise to walk outside your house or buying flowers for you as part of their essential shop. 

Read Anne’s story

Read the Victims Commissioner’s blog

If you are worried for yourself or about someone else’s behaviour, tell a friend or family member and reach out for help. It is there even during lockdown.

Recognising the signs

Check out our “Be Aware” page.

Getting support

Stalking is a sign of escalating risk and it is really important to get help as soon as possible. The first recourse should always be to phone the police on 101 (or, in an emergency, 999), but national and local support services remain open. Please contact them if you feel at risk.

For more advice see our “Be Aware” page.

Stalking and Covid-19

Approximately 1.5 million people in England and Wales are victims of stalking every year. Alice’s case, along with that of Shana Grice and sadly many others who were murdered by their stalkers, reminds us of the devastating consequences that stalking can have.

Domestic abuse has received a lot of headlines during these unprecedented times: quite rightly, as the implications of being in lockdown with an abusive perpetrator are devastating. However, a large number of those contacting stalking services are in fact being stalked by abusive ex-partners. The danger these victims are in has not gone away and they continue to need protection.

Despite the lockdown stalkers can continue stalking: they are unlikely to stop just because they are not permitted to leave their house freely. Even in normal circumstances, restrictions on stalkers’ movements may have very little impact—as is clear from ongoing breaches of restraining orders. The use of online media to continue stalking is likely to rise. Although this does not necessarily pose an obvious physical threat, the impact this can have on the victim is huge, particularly in terms of their mental well-being, and can lead to self-harm and even suicide. In addition, the lockdown response means that stalkers are now able to almost guarantee where their victim will be and can legitimise their presence in an area as part of their daily exercise or going out to do their essential shopping.

Along with the other members of the National Stalking Consortium, the Alice Ruggles Trust is working to ensure that victims of stalking are not forgotten during the response to Covid-19, during National Stalking Awareness Week 2020 and beyond.

#NSAW2020    #StaySafe    #LookForwardNotBehind    #SeeStalkingClearly