April 18th marked the first national stalking awareness day. This aimed to highlight what stalking is, that it is a crime, advice on what to do if you are being stalked and the help available.
Stalking is unwanted, focused behaviours carried out by one person, or persons, against another, causing fear and alarm. Stalking is not a one off incident but taken together forms a course of conduct and can include some of the following:
- Standing outside a home, school, place of work or anywhere the person being stalked frequents
- Verbal abuse or humiliating the person in public
- Unwanted, unsolicited or threatening contact including phone calls, letters, text messages or emails
- Sending unwanted/unsolicited gifts
- Threats against the person, members of her/his family, friends or pets
- Publishing material or comments, for example in an online setting
- Damage to property
- Physical and/or sexual assault
A new leaflet was launched to provide information to those experiencing stalking in Scotland. This can be downloaded here.