Lincolnshire County Council’s domestic abuse team is raising awareness of stalking in the digital age as part of National Stalking Awareness Week this week.
While we may think of a stalker as someone hiding in the bushes outside a house, in today’s world victims are increasingly at risk of being stalked online, leaving them nowhere to hide.
A recent survey commissioned by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust showed almost 20 percent of women and eight percent of men have been stalked, with many stalkers now using social media as their weapon of choice.
“People may think stalking is just something that happens to celebrities, but that’s just not true. It can affect anyone, from any walk of life,” said Karen Shooter, county domestic abuse manager.
“The problem we are facing these days is that social media makes stalking so much easier, giving the stalker easy access to victims.
“As we become more connected online, the more open we are to being targeted.”
Despite the laws in place to protect against stalking and the unquestionable impact it has on the lives of victims, more than a quarter do not report it to the police.
“Whatever the type, whether it’s online or offline, stalking is not okay,” said Ms Shooter.
“Many people don’t know there are laws in place to help them. I’d encourage anyone who’s worried about stalking to follow the Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service’s golden rules and report it”
For help, information and guidance visit www.domesticabuselincolnshire.com or call 0808 802 0300.