Hampshire Police are offering support to victims of stalking across the Meridian region today to mark National Stalking Awareness Day.
This year's theme surrounds 'Working Without Fear' and is focused on stalking that occurs in the workplace.
Stalking is a unique crime which can devastate the lives of those affected by it. It is characterised by fixation on behalf of the offender and can leave the objects of their obsession feeling powerless to stop it.
Stalking often goes unreported with victims suffering in silence and feeling that their fears and concerns won't be taken seriously. National Stalking Awareness Day aims to help those affected by stalking realise that they are not alone, that there is support available and that police and other agencies take stalking seriously."
A man from West Sussex has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for stalking his ex-partner, after he was found hiding under her bed by police.
28-year-old Kevin Rainbow, who now lives in Deptford in London, appeared at Lewes Crown Court after pleading guilty to previous charges of assault and harassment.
He was issued with a Restraining Order, which stopped him from contacting his ex-partner or her family.
But he continued to contact his partner at her place of work and she went to stay in Sussex with her parents to feel safe for a while.
Rainbow caught his ex-partner as she walked back to the house but her father managed to get her indoors.
Detective Constable Stuart Macpherson of the West Sussex Adult Protection Team said,
"This was a frightening series of events, in which Rainbow clearly showed very manipulative and abusive behaviour towards a woman who initially trusted him but eventually became terrified of him. What he would have done if we had not found him under that bed can only be guessed at."
This weekend, for the first time, stalking becomes a specific legal offence in England and Wales. Until now the often terrifying ordeal has been dealt with under 'harrasment law'. In Kent a victim of stalking has created a mobile phone app that alerts family if someone is in danger.