Stalking and Domestic Violence:
Stalking is one of the most common forms of domestic abuse, with stalking by ex partners accounting for the largest group of victims of stalking.
Stalking is a course of conduct that amounts to harassment and that particular harassment can be described as stalking, it falls under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and whilst there is not a specific definition, examples of behaviour that could amount to stalking include;
- • Following a person
- • Attempting to contact/contacting a person
- • Monitoring a persons use of the internet, email or other digital communication
- • Loitering in a public or private place
- • Interfering with property in possession of a person
- • Watching or spying on a person
A common feature is the use of social media, as a user of social media you should ensure that your privacy settings are in place and that your access and passwords are secure. Be careful who you are friends with online and what information they can access, ensure that you block the perpetrator and others who he/she may gain access through. Be careful what you post, such as updates and photo’s that could enable the perpetrator to track you down.
Ex partners may know your password and gain access to your socal media enabling them to gain information about your whereabouts and your activities, this is not acceptable behaviour and could place you at risk. Changing your password regularly is advisable.
In the digital age it is frightening how easy it can be for perpetrators to track their victims. It is therefore important to protect yourselves and those around you by being more vigilant.
It is important to check your location settings on your mobile phone, if this is activated, it is possible for others to see your exact location when you send messages or post updates to your social media. Some mobiles also have tracking devices, something else that should be checked.
Stalking and Harassment are criminal offences carrying possible custodial sentences and/or fines, it is important to report any such incidents to the Police. However, protection can also be sought through civil law.
We have blogged on this topic previously and have included a link to very useful information relating to digital stalking, the blog can be found via this link - Increasing Awareness of Digital Stalking
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