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Online harrassment and stalking, can be upsetting, demoralising, induce feelings of fear, panic, anxiety and depression and completely over shadow your day to day life.
It doesn’t matter what age you are – we can all become victims of unwarranted and undeserved online attacks.
We are all different and react in different ways to online bullying, harrassment and/or stalking. Some of us can simply brush it off and ignore it, but for many others, it can have a profound and lasting effect on them.
What constitutes online harrassment and/or stalking?
West Midlands Police have a great platform that explains the differences between stalking and harrassment, how you can identify what attack(s) you are being subjected to, and what you should do if you are a victim.
You can report the incident(s) via their online chat, by clicking a few boxes to get the relevant advice, or by calling 101.
Try and get screenshots if you can to provide evidence, or get someone else to do this for you. You can also share any direct messages or emails you may have if they could be used as evidence to support your concerns.
Ask your abuser (yes, it is abuse) to stop contacting you. If this does not work, block them on every platform that you use.
Even if you are told that you shouldn’t block them because you are infringing their human rights, go ahead and block them. You have every right to protect yourself from harrassment, stalking and/or bullying which creates fear and a risk to your health.
This helps protect your emotional wellbeing. Waking up in fear of what you will see next is horrendous. Going to bed at night and not sleeping due to worry can have a huge impact on your ability to cope with life in general. So remove that ability from your perpetrator and take control over what content appears on your accounts.
REMEMBER, HARRASSMENT & STALKING ONLINE ARE ILLEGAL IN ENGLAND & WALES
You can report this type of crime through the Charity ‘Crimestoppers’ which is completely free and you can remain anonymous
You can also contact Victim Support **if the offences are affecting your physical and/or mental wellbeing. Alternatively, contact your GP, or speak to a trusted family member of friend. Please do not bottle it up inside and try to deal with it on your own. We all need support sometimes, especially through experiences which can be traumatic and deeply disturbing.
**This takes you to the West Midlands Police page for Victim Support, but search for your local police force to see what support and advice they can offer you.
Don’t forget, SOS Silence of Suicide are available between 1 and 6, 7 days a week, via their online chat platform to discuss any emotional health challenges you may be experiencing. Our phone line 0300 1020 505 is open between midday and 7pm Monday to Friday.