A British lady who met a man once, narrated how same many stalked her for 7 years.
She told her story to Metro UK
My name is Chloe Hopkins, I’m from North Wales, and I was stalked for seven years by a stranger. I had just won the title of Miss Prestatyn 2010, passed my driving test and was about to be signed by Universal Music Management – I was on cloud nine! Who wouldn’t be?
Unfortunately it wasn’t to last. I was asked to turn on Prestatyn’s Christmas lights and that is where I met my stalker.
I went around meeting and greeting people, wishing them a merry Christmas and to have a good night. I noticed a man on crutches all alone and went to wish him the all the best for the festive season.
A few seconds of kindness turned my world and my future upside down. He started following me to public events and bombarding me with online messages. He would always walk past my house, got my name tattooed to his chest and even gate crashed my friend’s funeral.
The list goes on. Stalking and harassment is a very terrifying and humiliating experience to go through. When it first began, I had no idea what was going on. I was only 18 and I did not realise it was stalking until further down the line.
During my experience I felt very nervous whenever the police officers came to speak to me or take a statement. Were they judging me? Was I a criminal? I had never been involved with the police before, so to have them round at my house for statements on numerous occasions was very daunting. My stalker was given a harassment notice.
He clearly didn’t think it was worth the paper it was written on so continued to torment me more. In total he has been to prison three times for his continual stalking. He would always walk past my house, got my name tattooed to his chest and even gate crashed my friend’s funeral.
Unlike so many stalking victims, I felt comforted by the level of support I was given by North Wales Police. They made me feel safer and like something was being done about it. Officers were always empathetic, calm and patient whenever they came to my home to take statements.
The torment of stalking led me to try and take my life and I am so grateful that the police were very professional and gentle in guiding me through the next stages. Compared to the lack of care and negligence other stalking victims have received, my interactions with the police were exceptional, but I truly believe more can be done to ensure victims like me get the support and justice we need.
For example, every time I phoned to report an incident, I was assigned to a different officer. I would have to go through my entire ordeal each time, which was a continuous reminder of what I was going through.
It wasn’t until my stalker offended for the third time that I was assigned an officer who was by my side throughout the court hearings.
And importantly, I was not given any information on support networks such as Paladin or The National Stalking Helpline.
I only found out they existed when they contacted me after I told my story online. Not having anyone to talk to who had personal experience or in depth knowledge of what it is like to be stalked made me feel very alone and like I was the only person going through this.
Police training for stalking and harassment is beyond vital. I mean, what is the point in having laws to protect and support victims if police aren’t going to act on them?
I completely agree with Paladin that a stalking register should be put into place to protect men and women from series stalkers and domestic violence perpetrators.
Not only would this help victims, it would enable police throughout the UK to identify, trace and monitor stalkers.
Victims are usually the ones that have to modify their lives – like having to move home, reducing their online presence, or even disappearing when they don’t feel safe. But it shouldn’t be up to the victim to keep themselves safe. We shouldn’t have to suffer in silence.