A NEW campaign is being launched in a bid to eliminate stalking in the workplace and help employers support victims in Burton and South Derbyshire.
Both Staffordshire and Derbyshire Police are backing the Working Without Fear campaign ahead of National Stalking Awareness Day, which takes place on Thursday. It comes as new statistics show that 50 per cent of stalking victims reduce or stop work as a consequence.
An astonishing one in 20 people in the area are currently, or have been, stalked by a colleague or ex-colleague.
A spokesman for the National Stalking Helpline, the body behind the new campaign, said: “Stalking can take place in many forms in the workplace. Some stalkers are colleagues or clients of the victim, others are individuals who are unrelated to the workplace but who make contact with the victim there because of ease of access or to cause them further distress.
“Stalking can have a hugely detrimental impact on its victims, causing them to feel unsafe wherever they go.
“This can have a knock-on effect on their physical and psychological wellbeing.
“Many of the callers to the National Stalking Helpline are reluctant to disclose what they are experiencing as they fear that others will judge them, be unable to understand what they are going through or be unable to provide them with appropriate, relevant support.
“When someone is being stalked, it is likely that causes for concern to an employer – such as increased absences, arriving late for work, or unexplained poor work performance – will begin to emerge.
“Changes in a member of staff’s productivity may be caused by stalking or domestic abuse and these issues should be explored when deciding how to manage the situation.
“Identifying that an employee is experiencing difficulties at an early stage will enable them to offer appropriate support.”
Anyone in need of urgent support is urged to contact the helpline 08088 020300.