Stalking is one of the most common forms of abuse. It is a pattern of repeat and persistent behaviour that is unwanted, intrusive and creates fear.

Unwanted contact can include phone calls, messaging, sending gifts or leaving graffiti. Unwanted intrusion includes waiting for you, spying on you, approaching you and entering your home. Stalkers may also make complaints about you, use the Internet to 'cyber stalk', make threats, damage property or even use violence.

Stalkers may even take lives if their behaviour remains unchecked and is allowed to get worse. Stalking has resulted in serious violence, rape and in some cases murder.

Report stalking

If you feel someone has an unhealthy interest in you, or you believe you're a victim of stalking, call Essex Police on 101. If you are in immediate danger dial 999.

Support for victims

Paladin is the National Stalking Advocacy Service. It is a community interest company that helps high-risk victims of stalking in England and Wales. If you have been a victim of stalking or have a concern about stalking, go to the Paladin website.

Changing Pathways provides an Independent Stalking Advocacy Service for victims of stalking and harassment in the south Essex area. They offer one-to-one support, as well as group advocacy and safety planning.

You can also get help or advice from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust: National Stalking Helpline and Protection Against Stalking.