Chris experienced a year of stalking hell at the hands of a former co-worker. Below is Chris’s account of what happened and how the situation was taken control of and fortunately stopped.
I remember at the beginning feeling like I was going crazy or certainly that no one would take me seriously- I mean so what if I kept receiving ‘nice’ text messages or presents? That’s a good thing right?? Maybe it would have been if I had some inclination who they were from. And I must admit at the beginning I was slightly amused by it and even flattered… I even responded. But after a week and them not telling me who they were I started to get a little apprehensive. I stopped responding but they carried on. In fact they got more into it- every day I would have like 8 texts.
I would ask them to stop but this just seemed to make it worse. It was relentless, every day messages and the calls started too after a few weeks. I went to the police but as I had no idea who it was and the call were private and texts from internet services the police said there was nothing they could do. I got the feeling I wasn’t being taken seriously- I understood that there was a lack of evidence pointing to a culprit but I suppose I was just hoping they would help me find that out.
It was round about that time, after I had been to the police and probably about 6 months into the stalking that I called the National Stalking Helpline. At this point I had found out who it was who was doing it- they had said something about a suit I use to wear and I had only ever worn that to work. I had thought about it and realized that the stalking had started a week after I had left an old job and all of a sudden I just knew who it was- it all made sense. But I didn’t go back to the police at that point as to be honest I was a bit disheartened by my first attempt. But speaking to the helpline changed my mind.
They told me that stalking was against the law, gave me the exact law and definition and everything- I had never really realized this before. I had not wanted to talk to anyone about it as I was worried they would just say I was being silly. The helpline also helped me get in control of the situation- they said that having evidence would be really helpful so I started to document everything. It was tiring at times and pretty upsetting but I kept thinking if this helps to stop the constant communication then it would be worth it. After another call to the helpline I summed up the courage to go back to the police and was surprised by how different I found reporting it.
The police went and talked to my stalker and issued them with something called a PIN. This was a year ago. It’s funny how my stalker stopped as soon as they were told they were breaking the law. The whole experience however still affects me. Everytime I get an unusual packet or my phone beeps I hope to god that it has not started again and I think a part of me will always have that concern.
I’m also more of an anxious person in general and find it hard to put my trust in people. But I have found some comfort from using the helplines forums and talking to others who feel the same way. I really hope anyone who is being stalked will reach out to someone, because it can be stopped and even if it takes a while there are people who will not only take you seriously but make you aware of the simple fact that you are not going crazy and that what they are doing is not ok.