While there is still no strict legal definition of stalking within the United Kingdom, there are clear examples of circumstances which can be defined as such, which include following a person, watching or spying on them or even forcing contact with a person through any means, including social media.*
Anyone who has been victim to or known a victim of stalking will confirm that the experience is an absolute terrorising one, but the process of reporting or opening a criminal case to obtain protection against a perpetrator, more than often creates further anxiety and unease. The UK Criminal Justice Survey reports that over the last 12 months, 1 in 6 men and women have experienced stalking, yet so many cases remain unreported and lack evidence for it to be pursued by authorities.
Action Against Stalking, a Scottish Charity launched by Ann Moulds, outline some very valuable points to help someone when dealing with a stalker. These include not responding to the stalker; keeping family and close one’s informed of what’s happening; improving personal safety and keeping a record of incidents. Given the circumstances, these can often be terribly difficult to achieve, but with advancements in smartphone technology, taking back control can be that much more seamless.
When creating a record of incidents, it’s important that any and all suspicious activity be documented. Using a smartphone app with reporting features, such as Zecure, will allow you to build a record of evidence in one instance, which can be used later by authorities. The Zecure Report Feature allows a user to give a written account of an incident as well as adding additional supporting imagery evidence, be it screenshots of calls; messages or sightings. With the evidence being stored in the cloud, users can rest assured that their evidence will be available even in the unfortunate event of loss or theft of smartphone devices.
The added peace of mind of having a personal attack alarm can also aid greatly in helping one feel more comfortable when out and about. Through Zecure, you have a built in panic button on your smartphone, along with being able to share your journeys with family and friends. When activating the panic button, your smartphone camera and speaker activate to record the incident. This recording, your location and time stamp is in turn shared with your pre-nominated contacts, who can send authorities or come to your aid.
It is always encouraged to never physically engage with a stalker. However, should this situation arise, having taken a proactive approach and empowering oneself with a tool like Zecure, that could aid in deterring serious harm and create evidence to help prosecute, will always be a wise decision.
* source: CPS – Stalking and Harassment