'He left trainers on my doorstep': Stalking victim welcomes new service after months of harassment

  • ITV News Meridian's Juliette Fletcher spoke to Jessica Farr about her experience

A woman who was subjected to four months of harassment has welcomed a new service to help victims of stalking across the Thames Valley.

Jessica Farr's stalker let himself into her flat at night leaving her feeling unsafe in her own home. He also left her gifts, including used men's trainers.

Jessica said: "It started with knocks at the door and I hoped it would go away if I didn't open the door. Then it progressed to having gifts left.

"If I was feeling down, the flat would be where I'd go... I no longer felt safe.

"I didn't want to be there but I also didn't want to go anywhere else because I didn't feel that I could go anywhere."

Jess Farr's stalker left her gifts including used men's trainers

Jessica is supporting a new Thames Valley Stalking Service in the hope that it will help others who find themselves in similar situations in the future.

The charity Aurora New Dawn is delivering the service, which provides emotional and practical support to victims of stalking across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

Dr Shonagh Dillon, Chief Executive of Aurora New Dawn, hopes that the service will help victims of stalking to feel validated.

Dr Dillon said: "Stalking is a really terrifying crime and very often victims minimise because they don't feel like they're being stalked or that they'll be believed.

"Still too often victims and society think that stalking is something that happens to celebrities and that's not actually true."

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber added: "This new service is about recognising that victims need that specialist support to help them through the emotional and practical challenges they face."

Jess hopes the new support service will help people like her in the future

Where can victims of stalking find support?

Victims First is managed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. 

It provides free emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime as well as helping the family members of victims.

The service is available across the Thames Valley and can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.

Anyone needing support can access the service by calling Victims First on 0300 1234 148 or by completing an online referral form.

The service will also accept referrals by professionals working with victims of stalking.