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Bullying, harassment and stalking

Stalking

Stalking involves:
  • repeated attempts by someone to make unwanted contact with you 
  • contact which is making you feel distressed or restricts your freedom.
Stalking behaviour might appear innocent at first, but if it keeps happening, it could mean something more sinister.

Unwanted contact can include telephone calls, letters, emails, text messages, and messages on social networking sites, graffiti or sending or leaving gifts.

Other unwanted behaviour might include;
  • waiting for you
  • spying on you
  • approaching you
  • going to your home
A stalker may also order or cancel your goods or services, make complaints to organisations about you, damage your property or try to talk to you online (cyber-stalking).

National Stalking Helpline

The National Stalking Helpline, offering help, advice and support, can be contacted on 0808 802 0300. 

Harassment

Harassment might include:

  • repeatedly sending texts and making telephone calls causing distress following the break-up of a relationship
  • making a series of unwanted visits and telephone calls to a place of work
  • long-running neighbour disputes
  • constant verbal intimidation and abuse to a local shop-keeper

Harassment is different to someone causing a general nuisance or a feeling of annoyance, irritation or resentment.

Bullying

Bullying is when someone, on their own or in a group, repeatedly and intentionally hurts you either physically or emotionally. 

It can take many forms and can be motivated by prejudice, for example, because of your race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

In school it can also be motivated by differences between children, whether they’re real or perceived. 

Stopping violence and ensuring safety is a school’s first priority but emotional bullying can be equally as damaging (and sometimes more so) than physical attacks; teachers and schools make their own judgements about each specific case.
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