What is Stalking?

Site Purpose

This website has been developed to highlight and promote the effects of stalking in Northern Ireland,  and to empower and educate those who have to suffer this. Its purpose is to reassure you that you are not alone, and to offer understanding into this fearful and life changing experience. This site will help you understand more about the impact as a result of being stalked,  typical stalker behaviour, and useful information. There’s also advice on how to effectively gather evidence and how to help the PSNI, help you.

What Is it?

Stalking is when an individual becomes excessively obsessed with another, and starts a relentless campaign of following and intimidation, for no reason other than their need to be close to their victim, to gain revenge for their rejection, or avenge a “wrong” they believe was caused to them. Their sole focus is to own or destroy the person they are obsessed with, and will enjoy keeping their victim living a life in fear,  believing they have a right to do this. There will be no remorse or concern felt for the victim’s well being, reputation, or their welfare and knock on effect this has on the victims’ children or family.  Stalkers suffer a distortion of events and can make their rejection out to be something more than an unwanted relationship/partnership.  As a result of their inability to accept rejection, their twist of the truth and fabrication becomes reality, and an obsession takes over,  spending hours every day seeking ways to avenge their victim.

Stalking is an obsessive fixation  which is powered and renewed with continuous, unwanted contact attempts to their target,  using  texts, emails, letters, social media, door calling, “drive-bys”,  following, suddenly appearing in shops, or visiting places of work. The  stalker feels justified in having a right to do this,  as they cannot accept that the victim does not want any form of relationship with them or is seeking revenge. When these attempts to gain contact from the victims fails, it can develop to blackmail or death threats, suicide threats,  malicious defamation of the victims’ character, and/or violence. If they can’t have the person they are perusing, or they are avenging a “wrong” caused to them by the victim, they ensure he/she will pay a price. They seek revenge or reverse the victimhood, often hoping to destroy the reputation and life the victim has created, as they hate to be exposed. Unfortunately, prior to it reaching this level of seriousness, its down to the individual to know how to gather evidence, and this is difficult if living in fear of someone,  with a potentially violent, unhealthy fixation.  No-one knows what,  if, and when they will step over the line and act in violence, especially if they have a criminal history.

Secondary Victims

Lack of third party witnesses are a real issue when trying to bring conviction, and its understandable they back off, as witnesses tend to shy away for fear that they will attract the same treatment.  There is no certainty of personal safety for anyone connected. This behaviour  will extend to anyone that is close to the victim, or who may get in the way, including family , partners or friends and are labelled as “secondary” stalking victims. There is also a common mis-understanding, that the stalker only wants their victim’s attention, and if you ignore it, it will go away, but in reality they may disappear for a while and then reappear again, just when the victim thinks they are getting their life back. 

Potential Targets

Rejection, or unwanted relationship attempts, re-opens their deep rooted fear of abandonment and loneliness,  and is likely to have started with an emotionally abusive childhood. Aggrieved ex business associates are also known to stalk seeking revenge by intimidation. Sometimes the stalker picks a person where there has been no direct contact, or knowledge of who the stalker is. Many victims are shamed into silence, both female and males, especially if the stalker has personal private information.

Research

If you have been affected by stalking, please help create much needed statistical understanding and evidence, to evidence the need for early police intervention. Please complete the anonymous survey attached to this site.