During the Christmas celebrations I was socialising with a group of very close lady friends. We were in an establishment that I'd not normally frequent, a bit on the youngish side for me. While there I happened to need to go to the little girls room. In there on the walls there were a few of the usual types of posters you would expect to see, ones promoting safe sex, promoting sexual health clinics and then there was a new one on me, one on how to cope with Stalkers. Two things struck me about this. Firstly, that it's sad we have now got to a situation that stalking is becoming more and more common to the extent that there are dedicated women police officers and help groups offering support for this type of harassment. The second is more encouraging, that the support groups etc are targeting a younger age group of women to educate them that this type of crime is not to be tolerated, and that taking it seriously is a better way to address it than brushing it under the carpet. I'm hoping that a new generation of women will have a zero tolerance on these types of behaviours, and that the (usually) male perpetrators will get the message that their attentions are not just unwelcome but down right unacceptable.
The poster makes it clear what type of behaviour is considered harassment. The type that some people would brush off, until it escalates. Random freaky texts, silent phone calls, hacking personal email accounts, unwelcome and persistent email contacts, contacting others with 'concerned' information. The police apparently will take seriously these types of behaviours even at this stage, by making an off the record home visit to the perpetrator to give him a nudge in the right direction. Most people would assume that the police wouldn't get involved at this stage. I would have probably had that opinion too until I spoke about this with other Pro-Dommes who've had problems with stalkers (usually ex clients, but not always the case). So apparently it matters not a jot about our job, the police are not interested in what we do, as long as we are not breaking the law they are well and truly on our side on this one. I'm of the opinion that not much intimidates me now that I'm of a certain age....yeh yeh, I'm not the target age group for this poster to be sure. However, when it comes to stalking as I said, not much intimidates me and if someone was trying any of this on me I'd much rather out myself first than have anyone try to bully me into a corner. Luckily though I've got maturity and life experience under my belt so I'm not likely to be concerned too much but I'm glad that the next generation of would be Dommes will have the back up knowledge of what is acceptable behaviour, and what's not.
Further information, for anyone needing it, can be found on these useful websites....
Criminal Justice Act Scotland, what the law says on stalking!
National Stalking Helpline, help and advice on what to do if you feel stalked.
Tracey Morgan blog on stalking with lots of useful information