April 25th-29th is national stalking awareness week. Official figures show that 1 in 5 women in the UK have experienced some form of stalking since the age of 16 (Source: ONS – Crime Survey for England and Wales 2020).
Stalking is a pattern of persistent and unwanted attention that makes you feel pestered, scared, anxious or harassed. It is not something anyone should have to put up with and, as a criminal offence, is punishable by law.
If you’ve experienced stalking or harassment, you are not alone and you do not need to suffer in silence.
When Carys reached out to Cyfannol Women’s Aid, she felt nobody would believe her. As well as stalking her, her former partner’s gaslighting had made her feel she had nowhere to turn.
With the right support, Carys felt empowered to take practical steps to feel safe again. Knowing she was believed and understanding that she wasn’t alone validated her experiences: what she was going through was abuse.
Carys’s support worker helped arrange for security devices to be fitted at her home. The impact this had on her sense of safety led Carys to install more equipment and eventually she felt confident to go to the police.
After Beca left her ex partner, his abusive behaviour turned to stalking and harassment, including following her car and harassing her at her place of work. After reporting to the police, she was referred to Cyfannol Women’s Aid and received emotional support initially, while following police advice to log all incidents.
Initially unsure about arranging for an order to be put in place, Beca was provided with security items for her home and reassured that a non-molestation order could be actioned quickly whenever she was ready. She understood that a non-molestation order could potentially prohibit her abuser from using or harassing her, specifically preventing him from coming within a certain distance of her, visiting her home address or attending her place of work. With a non-molestation order in place, the police could arrest her abuser for the offence of breaching that order.
After taking the time she needed, she decided that she needed the added protection of this civil injunction. She was supported to complete a non-molestation order application, which was granted within 3 weeks.
If you’ve experienced stalking and harassment, we can support you to:
We are here for you if you need us. You can call us on 03300 564456 or visit www.cyfannol.org.uk/contact