Sharing Information

May 3, 2017

Everywhere we go these days, people want your information.  As a victim, it’s a minefield.  Trying to limit where and what information is shared is difficult and if not done could, potentially, put someone at risk. Even my phone seems to automatically enable location, if I’m not on the ball and don’t disable it, this could provide goodness knows who with where I am, my regular locations etc… this has the potential to put me at risk. Social media is a whole other story.

When a shop or business asks for information I always ask:

What information do you need?

Why do you need it?

What are you doing to do with it?

Sometimes I can see through the faff they tell me but it’s really important to know where your information is going.  Will it be sold on? And why, if I am buying a battery, does the shop need to know my name and address?

Sometimes I say no.

Always ask, you never know.

Lots of awareness raising is about educating those who need it, however we are all aware of those in and around the criminal justice system who already know how serious stalking is and who are already heroes to the victims they are trying to protect. Sometimes is it the system that lets them down, the system that needs changing.

To those who know and who are already doing their best: THANK YOU 

Today is the start of a new week, National Stalking Awareness Week 2017 is over.

Despite this, it is still vital that we continue to push the message at every opportunity that stalking is a serious crime with the potential to end in tragedy. Some of us have known this for years yet our voices not loud enough to change attitudes. Changing laws has been relatively much easier!

We still have a long way to go in educating those who need it on the fact that anyone not taking a victim seriously – be it police, CPS, courts, prison or probation – has the potential to leave them with the prospect of an inquest and inquiry. It goes without saying that the victim will be already suffering psychologically from the terror of being stalked.

It is vital that a victim is taken seriously from that first report.  They are already feeling paranoid, stupid and are minimising what is happening to try to rationalise it.   It is likely the stalking has been happening for a while.

If a victim is asking for help, go back to basics, look at the evidence and behaviour of the alleged perpetrator; are these actions from a reasonable person? Or are they someone who seems obsessed, is their life preoccupied with their victim? Use those checklists and trust your instinct – do not just rely on a list of tick boxes.

Join the dots…put the acts together, don’t separate out 3 acts of criminal damage, breach of the peace etc… join them together to prove a course of conduct.

Let’s start looking at stalking as a prelude to murder, we have come so far since I first went public in 1995, but we still have a long way to go. Back then I was virtually a lone voice, now there are many other voices joining the chorus and doing amazing work.  Please let’s continue in harmony so that our voices can be heard and lives saved.