Celebrity singer Lily Allen endured seven years of stalking by a stranger. Until her family home was broken into while she and her children were sleeping in October 2015. The man was arrested and told police:
he wanted to cut her with a knife
The suspect received a caution in 2008 after he appeared at her home in London. He handed her a CD containing love songs and a letter. He then fled, having grabbed post from the address. More letters were received in March and May 2009. The police then confirmed they were happy the matter was closed.
In a victim statement, Lily said she was so scared of her stalker that she had to move home. She said:
His violent and threatening actions and behaviour have left me terrified for my and my children’s safety. I’m not only terrified of him turning up at my house but also given his crazy obsession with me I’m really concerned what will happen on his release.
She believes he had been hiding in her garden on previous occasions and had waited for an opportune moment to break in.
It was not special attention I looked for. It was reassurance and validation. The police made me feel like a nuisance, rather than a victim. I feel lucky I had resources to protect myself, I could move house, get a lawyer, but if you don’t have that money, how much more terrifying must it be?
Stalking is one of the most frequently experienced forms of abuse. It’s also punishable by law and jail time of up to 14 years.
It’s usually perpetrated by someone known to the victim. However, stalking can also be carried out by strangers.
Stalking can leave a person unable to trust, feeling fearful and scared at all times. It can make the victim feel worried about both going out and, in some cases, staying at in. It can lead to anxiety around using devices, like mobile phones and social media to stay in touch with people. It can also lead to withdrawing from friends and family.
Research shows that 91% of victims reported mental health problems following experiences of stalking. With 50% stating they had reduced or given up work due to stalking.
Some victims will not report stalking to police until the 100th incident
If you are being stalked by someone known to you, the signs can be easily missed at first. It’s important to know that you are not alone. If you are being stalked by somebody in an intimate relationship, please contact PARAGON in West Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Somerset or Dorset for support.
Read about different types of abuse
If you think that you or someone you know is experiencing stalking, you can also reach out to one of the following for further support.