Sexual Health

An Insight Into Stalking. Are you Keeping Yourself Safe Online?

You, Dirty John and The Assassination of Gianni Versace are just some of the shows filled with a combination of stalking and romance; a theme that has been dominating entertainment over the last few months.

Stalking is a real life issue that many people face. Netflix series, documentaries and the news outlets have highlighted the dangers of it. Doing so has given people some warning signs to look out for.

But what do you look out for to keep yourself safe? When is enough enough?

There is always a fear of the unknown especially when you meet someone new. Unless you know them through mutual friends it is hard to tell their previous dating history.

Stalking is scary, it’s uncomfortable and can have a terrible effect on people both mentally and physically.

Extreme cases of stalking have been highlighted in the media and through television over the last year, but there are milder cases that are not as easy to see.

Stalking can happen through social media, what pictures you’re liking, who you are following and your location. A good example for that is “Snap maps”, where fellow Snapchat friends have the ability to see your location.

For your own safety and peace of mind, it is best to keep your location turned off on your social media, if you want your friends to be able to see it, remember to be safe especially when dating or seeing new people.

Psychologist Tadgh Mac Entyre of University Limerick says that the most innocent version of the rejection stalking kind is when “ an individual is at the unwanted end of a closed relationship and is merely challenged in adapting to this”.

He spoke about other types of stalking which are more sinister, they include “ seeking intimacy with somebody who is personally unknown”.

Tadgh who has worked with sports athletes who have been affected by stalking also said: “these subtypes shouldn’t blind us to the research evidence which suggests that many are more appropriately viewed as vulnerable, distressed, individuals whose behaviours reflect, at least in part, the underlying serious mental disorder”.

Stalking can be expressly intrusive, if you ever feel uncomfortable and are unsure about what to do, speak to someone! Remove the person from your social media and phone book.

The person who is doing this is not in a good place and more than likely has a serious mental health problem, a word of advice to anyone would be, to never try and solve the problem on your own; the more people you tell the more help you can receive.

 

If you’re a victim of stalking, you can contact Crime Victims Helpline on Freephone 116 006, email to info@crimevictimshelpline.ie, or text on 085 133 7711.