Next: It is really important to think very carefully about managing the risk you may be facing.
Recognise and manage the risk, find a balance
Try to find a balance between managing risk and getting on with the normal things in life.
Normal things you may have almost forgotten like:
- Feeling safe when with friends or family, or on your own
- Going where you want to go
- When you want to
- Having fun
Think about risks you may be facing:
- Work out WHAT the possible risks are
- Decide WHO is at risk – your children? Partner? Parents? Friends? Colleagues?
- Work out HOW to manage these risks
Make a record of all your answers to the following questions. This is vital evidence. Keep it safe and review it regularly.
If you want to print off the questions and store them, then go to the Downloadable Safety Planning. Sign and date the form. It will be useful later.
What are the possible risks?
Look at your feelings and the facts you have.
If you know the person who is bothering, pestering and stalking you, then you may have some idea of what they are capable of.
If you do not know them can you get a feeling of what they might be capable of from the ways they have chosen to target you?
Feelings: Think carefully and try to work out how frightened you are now
Trust your feelings. If you’re scared, it can be helpful. It may even save your life to realise that you are in grave danger.
- Are you very scared now and know what it is you fear?
- Are you a bit scared now but have a dreadful feeling about the future?
- Are you also scared for others close to you?
Do not doubt your feelings, trust them and try to work out why you feel that way.
Write down your answers. Look back at them and see what changes.
Facts: Think carefully about the person who is targeting you
- Have they behaved like this before?
- Have they behaved like this before to anyone else?
- Have they ever damaged anything of yours on purpose?
- Have they ever damaged anything belonging to anyone else on purpose?
- Do they try to find you at home more than 3 times per week?
- Do they try to find you at work more than 3 times per week?
- Do they hang around where they think you might be? How often?
- Have they made any threats of physical or sexual violence against you?
- Have they been violent to or threatened violence against people close to you?
- Have they contacted anyone else to try to find information about you?
- Have they contacted anyone else to get them to pass messages to you?
- Do they use drugs?
- Do they use alcohol?
- Have they ever had treatment for mental illness?
- Have they ever threatened suicide or self-harm?
- Have they ever been emotionally abusive or violent to anyone in the past?
- Have they ever been cruel to an animal?
- Are the unwanted things they are doing getting more serious or frightening?
- Are the unwanted things they are doing becoming more frequent?
Every single one of the questions is an indicator of increased risk of harm
Take seriously every time you answered ‘yes’ to a question and decide if you want to try to reduce the risk you may be facing.
You may have additional things that make it harder for you to keep yourself safe:
- Illness or disability
- Impaired sight or hearing
- You are pregnant
- Your home or workplace is in an isolated area
- You have places where you have to be at regular times – e.g. work/school
- You have any regular routines or appointments e.g. hospital, hairdresser
Next.. write down what you are afraid they might do, to you or someone else