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20 April 2015, 05:00
A North Tyneside woman who was stalked by her ex husband, is urging other victims to save their life by speaking out
The 45 year old mother of one has told her story to coincide with National Stalking Awareness Week, which starts today.
This year's national campaign is entitled 'Is this stalking?'.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, became a victim of stalking and harassment at the hands of her ex-partner after she told him she wanted to separate.
During their time living together, he was controlling, isolated her from her family and friends, insisted she agreed with him and reduced her self confidence. He would also throw things at walls and kick and punch doors. She took the decision to end things when his behaviour began to affect her daughter.
"He was very angry when I left. He sent me over 300 texts and emails in just a couple of weeks at all times of day and night. He would sit outside my mum's house and refuse to leave.
He then started contacting my work, friends and family but it didn't stop there. He damaged my property including slashing my bike seat and tyres and scratching my car. I had no way of proving it was him so unfortunately no action could be taken.
He also accessed my email and Facebook accounts without my knowledge. Through this he would find out where I was going and had even bought tickets or made travel arrangements to go to the same things I was going to.
I couldn't go anywhere without looking over my shoulder for fear of him being there as he knew my routine and would often follow me. I changed my address, telephone number and email but every time I closed a channel of communication he would look for another. He would go to places to bump into people I know so he could speak to them about me. They would end up telling me they had seen him so even without seeing him he would always be there in my life in some way."
You can hear more of her story below:
Detective Superintendent Lisa Orchard, from Northumbria Police, added:
"National Stalking and Awareness Day gives us a platform to let people know what this offence is and assure victims there is help available.
Stalking is repeated, unwanted contact from one person to another which causes the victim to feel distressed or fearful. The impact is not only on the victim - it can stretch far wider with their friends, family, work colleagues and other people connected to them feeling the effects of stalking and harassment.
The bottom line is, it's a criminal offence and police will take action.
Victims of stalking are often subjected to behaviour such as nuisance telephone calls, excessive emails, being followed, death threats, abuse on social networking sites, blackmail or even physical assault.
We would always ask victims to come forward so they can receive the help and support they need and ensure the person giving them this unwanted attention is dealt with by police."
Anyone suffering from stalking and harassment should contact police on 101, extension 69191. In an emergency call 999.
Help is also available via the National Stalking Awareness helpline 0808 802 0300.
Further advice on stalking and harassment can be found on the Northumbria Police website