Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted behaviour that causes someone to feel distressed or scared.
Veritas Justice, a stalking specialist organisation, suggests considering the acronym ‘FOUR’ when thinking about stalking behaviour; is it Fixated, Obsessive, Unwanted, Repeated?
Stalking could include the following:
- sending unwanted gifts (flowers)
- sending unwanted communications
- damaging property
- physical assault
Stalking might include a threat of violence, or it might not. The absence of violence or threats in stalking doesn’t make it less serious. Stalking can cause severe psychological distress to the person targeted.
Anyone can become a victim of stalking. About 45% are stalked by ex-partners, and about a third have had some sort of prior acquaintance with their stalker. Just because someone might know their stalker does not mean that they are responsible for their behaviour.