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National Stalking Awareness Week 2023

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This year’s National Stalking Awareness Week takes place between 24th and 28th April. The theme is ‘Standing Against Stalking: Supporting Young People’. The focus is on stalking amongst young people from the ages of 16 to 24. 

The Susy Lamplugh Trust have reported an increase in 16- to 24-year-olds contacting their national helpline to seek support in how to deal with stalking behaviours, while according to the Alice Ruggles Trust, an estimated 1.8 million people in England and Wales experienced stalking during the year to March 2022, including more than 220,000 16– to 19-year-olds.

As Stalking Awareness Week 2023 explores young people’s experiences of stalking and awareness of potential stalking behaviours, we want to highlight the positive work going on to support young people and raise awareness through education:

The National Stalking Helpline:

Operated by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, the helpline gives practical information, support, and advice on risk, safety planning and legislation to victims of stalking, their friends, family, and professionals working with victims. They also feature an assessment tool on their website to help individuals who may be unsure as to whether they need support.

The Alice Ruggles Trust’s Relationship Safety Resource:

This resource for schools helps to raise awareness of the dangers of stalking among young people, via PSHE lessons. It focuses on recognising healthy and unhealthy behaviours, managing unwanted attention and supporting a friend. This resource has been downloaded over 5000 times and now features in the Resources section of our website.

Paladin’s Young People’s Service:

This service specialises in supporting young people aged 16 -24 years who are experiencing stalking.

They offer the following safety advice on their website:

  • Trust your instincts (We find that there is no such thing as coincidence with stalking).
  • Tell people who are SAFE to tell, as it helps protect you and evidence the stalking (e.g. neighbours, friends, work colleagues, tutors, family)
  • Keep a diary and record the impact the stalking is having on you (you can use our diary template insert link)
  • Keep the evidence – as much evidence as you can, including call logs, images, message chats, screenshots, etc.
  • Don’t automatically change your number or block on social media, as this may increase the risk to you and impact evidence gathering.
  • Park/walk in well-lit areas.
  • Vary your routes to and from work/college/Uni & be vigilant.
  • Google yourself to check your digital footprint frequently
  • Change passwords often and do not use the same password for everything
  • Be aware of tagging on social media and have a look at your default and privacy settings on social media platforms and apps.
  • Keep your software on phones, laptops up to date
  • Download the Hollie guard app

If you feel you may be experiencing stalking, there is support available.

If what’s happening has left you feeling scared or uncomfortable as the person wont stop, it might be time to speak to someone and get some advice via the links above.

If you feel you are in immediate danger, always dial 999, and remember you can press 55 if you are unable to speak.

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