National Stalking Awareness Week - Jenny's Story Jenny* referred into Next Chapter asking for support and advise around her ex-partner who was not going to leave their joint tenancy. (*name changed for safety reasons) When Jenny referred in she was extremely frustrated and felt very worn down. She had separated from her ex-partner and was looking for support to have him removed from her tenancy. Her ex-partner initially would be kind, accommodating and agreed to move out of the property however he would not take that the relationship was over. Jenny had told her ex how the relationship was definitely over but he would still keep contacting her. He would start messaging her friends and family if she blocked him and she had removed him off her social media. One evening she had returned home and he had decorated the house with balloons and gifts for her birthday. At first these behaviours could be seen to be somebody who is trying to be affectionate and caring however this is not the case. This worried Jenny as he continued to not listen to the relationship itself being over. Jenny’s ex continued with the gifts despite her telling him that she did not want to be with him. His response was - “Maybe one day I will get the date with you”. On our calls together, Jenny disclosed to me the depth and extent of the emotional abuse she suffered and his controlling behaviour within the relationship. He would be physically abusive to himself and then say how it was her fault for making him angry. Jenny’s ex did sort the tenancy however when the tactics of being nice didn’t work he turned and became moody stating it was all her fault and she was a horrible person. He stated “You will marry me and have my child". This worried and frightened Jenny and she kept telling him no. The harassing messages started again with him stating she did not give him a chance to which Jenny blocked him off her phone and all her social media accounts. He then made a fake Facebook and a new email account and started messaging again. She told him to stop or she would go to the police. The next day she received an email stating “Go to your car, I can’t cope without you and don’t call the police as I will already be gone”. Jenny was extremely frightened that he had been on her doorstep without her knowing and was on high alert. There was a note stating he “Cannot cope and life is nothing without her and she wouldn’t hear from him again”. She called the police who tracked him down on a cliff and he was sectioned following the suicide attempt. He then got another girl to message Jenny on his behalf. He continued to email her whilst in hospital. These calls and messages kept continuing with her ex finding new ways to make contact. He had sent over 300 messages since they split up. Even after the police were involved he continued his attempts and even transferred money into her account and used his own family members to send messages. He would go between being nice and caring and then horrible and angry which is a common tactic used by perpetrator’s in an attempt to regain power and control over their victim. Jenny and I discussed at length how he is responsible for his actions and she is not at fault or blame for his abuse. The impact on Jenny and her daughter meant it was very difficult for them not to live in high alert. If the security camera notified her she would worry it was him, she would become anxious that he could be parked on the street watching the house. She was very fearful of seeing him again or what he may have been capable of to get to her. Jenny found strength in reporting and supporting the police investigation. She did not want other woman to go through the same as what she had by this man. She had kept a log of all communications with her ex-partner. This is something we strongly advise as it keeps a record and shows the pattern of behaviour. With our support Jenny was referred into our IDVA service. Jenny took every step possible to keep herself safe and her daughter safe to. A non-molestation order was put in place with thorough safety planning conducted. She made sure all windows and doors were locked along with many other protective measures. We advised Jenny to keep a log of all communications because this is useful for evidence. With somebody who has stalking and harassing behaviour, a log is very helpful as it shows the pattern of behaviours. Jenny learnt and built her understanding around abusive behaviour and enjoyed reading books to build her knowledge. Jenny’s journey has been hard and there has been ups and downs throughout but what shines through with Jenny is her continued fight and bravery and her drive to learn and build bright future for her and her daughter. Jenny’s ex was arrested, bailed, charged and sentenced in court for his harassing and stalking behaviour towards Jenny. Nearly a year on and Jenny and her daughter are doing extremely well. They are living their lives free from abuse. We would like to thank Jenny, for her bravery and strength she showed at a very difficult time and wish her and her daughter all the best for the future.