The South Ayrshire Multi Agency Partnership Violence Against Women and Children, which is affiliated to the Scottish national Stalking Group, is supporting National Stalking Awareness Day on Wednesday 18 April.
Committed to stamping out violence against women and children the South Ayrshire Multi Agency Partnership is made up of representatives from a variety of agencies including South Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership, South Ayrshire Women's Aid, Strathclyde Police, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, the Procurator Fiscal's Office, South Ayrshire Victim Support, Barnardo's and Moving On.
The aim of the day is to get people across the country 'Talking Stalking' and give people a deeper understanding of the misery it causes millions of people. If unwanted attention is directed repeatedly toward a specific individual, and it is unwelcome or intrusive and triggers fear or concern then it is stalking.
Examples of stalking include: following; loitering nearby; maintaining surveillance and sending unwanted gifts, messages or text messages. Stalking can even lead to physical assault, sexual assault, and/or murder. With advances in modern technology stalking on social media networks has become a problem.
Harry Garland, Executive Director, Children and Community for South Ayrshire Council said: "Stalking exists in our communities. It can happen anywhere including the work place and educational establishments, at home and in public places. It is a crime which anyone can become a victim of through the unwanted and obsessive attention of a stalker.
"If you are being stalked you should never react to or communicate with the person. Keep a diary of events, tell your family, friends and neighbours what is happening and report the matter to the police.
"There is help available for anyone concerned about stalking. There is no need to put up with this sort of inappropriate behaviour.
"If you know someone who is being stalked give them your support otherwise stalkers may get away with their inappropriate behaviour."
To improve your personal safety you could carry a mobile phone and also consider carrying a personal attack alarm which will help you feel more comfortable when you are out and about. Take a look at your home, do you need to improve your home security?
Ann Moulds, who has personally experienced being stalked founded Action Scotland Against Stalking in March 2009, and is chairperson of the Scottish National Stalking Group said: "I know how terrifying it is to be stalked and how it can make your life a misery.
Nobody has to put up with this. There is advice, guidance and support for anyone who is being stalked. I am committed to continuing to raise the profile of stalking as a serious form of violence and a potentially lethal crime across Scotland and the whole of the UK.
"The close working relationship between South Ayrshire and the Scottish National Stalking Group is ensuring that at both local and national level we are dealing with stalking and its impact on individuals and communities."
For more information or to download information log on to www.scotlandagainststalking.com telephone 0808 802 0300 or email email@example.com.