Today is National Stalking Awareness Day across the UK. Every year, many people are stalked or harassed by current or former intimate partners, other people known to them, or complete strangers. If you have been affected by stalking, there is help out there.

Stalking behaviour is against the law in Northern Ireland under the Protection from Harassment (Northern Ireland) Order 1997. The Order states that a person shall not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which the perpetrator knows or ought to know will cause the victim harassment. There does not have to be threats for the behaviour to be harassment. Article 3 of the Order deals with harassment which causes distress and article 6 deals with harassment that causes a fear of violence.

The Order does not have a specific definition of what behaviour is or is not harassment. However, examples of harassment include persistent unwanted contact via telephone, text message or email, following, driving past your home or writing about you on the internet. There are also civil protective orders which could help you.

For more information or to get help, you can call the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414, email 24hrsupport@dvhelpline.org, or text SUPPORT to 07797 805 839.