Receiving a gift from an unknown person on Valentine’s day may be a pleasant surprise. But if it’s been happening for a while and it’s accompanied by unwanted messages, or if it’s from someone who keeps showing up when you’ve told them to leave you alone, then it becomes upsetting. It’s stalking. And it could get worse.

Stalking is a pattern of unwanted, repeated behaviour that leaves you feeling scared or distressed. You don’t have to be threatened with violence to be a victim of stalking. Any kind of persistent, unwanted contact that causes distress is still stalking and is unacceptable. But things like romantic comedies can normalise this sort of behaviour, and you may not recognise it as stalking.

When certain behaviours are combined in a way that follows the FOUR pattern – Fixated, Obsessed, Unwanted, Repeated – then its stalking and you should record what’s happened and report it before it escalates.

Watch our video  to see how these seemingly small, seemingly harmless gestures can escalate to something far more sinister…  

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Find out more about stalking and harassment and how to report it on the Dorset Police website here:

You can also get advice from the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300and help and support for the Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service you, or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 999.