Today is the start of Awareness Week and as our lives start to open up after months of restrictions, we’re urging anyone who thinks they might be a victim to ask for help.
is a pattern of fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repetitive behaviour that leaves a victim in fear for their safety.
There are lots of different forms of , including unwanted contact in person, on the phone, online or on social media.
It can also involve someone threatening or damaging property, following or spying on a person.
It can happen to anyone and it is a criminal offence.
Force Lead for , Superintendent Cherie Buttle said: “The pandemic has left many of us feeling more isolated than usual and I am acutely aware that this could have had an impact on how willing people have felt to report offences to us.
“ is a serious offence, you are not alone, and I would ask anyone who thinks they are a victim, or know someone who is, to get in touch with us so we can take action.
“Since the start of 2021 we have charged 175 people with and harassment offences across South Yorkshire. These people now potentially face time in prison, restraining orders and other penalties – there are very serious consequences to this behaviour and there are lots of things we can do to stop happening.
“The most important advice I can give anyone who is scared is to not stay silent, we understand it’s a very difficult thing to talk about, but please tell someone. The impact of on your life can be huge, both physically and psychologically, please know it is not your fault and you do not have to put up with it.”
For Awareness Week we’re working closely with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust (https://www.suzylamplugh.org/) who have some fantastic advice on their website.
They also run the National Helpline – 0808 802 0300 or https://www.suzylamplugh.org/refer-someone-to-us
You can also speak to Paladin - the National Advocacy Service https://paladinservice.co.uk/
If you would like to speak to South Yorkshire Police please call 101 or make a report online.
Always call 999 in an emergency.
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