A new study, conducted ahead of International Stalking Awareness Day by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, indicates that stalkers have become more obsessive during lockdown, often using their daily exercise to stalk their victims.
Around 1 in 6 women and 1 in 27 men in the UK have suffered stalking of some type, with numbers increasing year upon year. Cyber-stalking has also seen dramatic increases throughout Lockdown.
Caitlin, a bartender in Preston aged 21, told us how her stalker frequently harassed her at work and used her social media accounts, from Facebook to LinkedIn, to continually send unsolicited pictures and messages. She said: “It was a really horrible time; I didn’t feel safe at home or at work”.
Similarly, Linsay also experiences Cyber Stalking. As a prominent member of the somewhat male dominated Motorsport community, she told us of her experiences of being followed home by drunk fans and even members of competitive teams. She said: “It did often ruin my experience of the sport I love. I’d be leaving the paddock after a brilliant day and some clearly drunk guys would try it on, I’d turn them down and they’d follow me shouting abusive and inappropriate comments. Even though I tried to not show it, I was very afraid.”
The Suzy Lampulgh Trust is holding an online conference to address the rise in cases. The police have released advice on what to do in the event of being stalked such as keeping a record of all occurrences for reason of evidence and block all accounts of the stalker as soon as possible.
For any victims of stalking, help can be found at the National Stalking Helpline at 08088020300 from 9:30 to 4pm Monday to Friday (excluding 1pm to 4pm on Wednesday). If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 999.
*The names used in this article are aliases to protect their identities.