Online journal Broadly started a campaign called "Unfollow Me" to bring awareness to the perils of stalking. A report titled "49 British Women Were Killed By Men They Previously Reported To Police" points out the dangers for women even after they report their stalker.
In the essay "After My Ex Stalked Me Online, I Saw The Dark Side Of Romantic Obsession" Nana Baah writes:
Thanks to a childhood spent watching romantic comedies with forceful male leads, I thought love was persistent and never gave up—until my ex stalked me after our breakup.
Broadly's editor, Zing Tsjeng, took to Twitter to spread the message.
They also shared a video of Alice Ruggles, whose ex killed her even after she had reported him to the police—twice.
Alice Ruggles was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, despite reporting him to the police twice before her death.— Broadly (@broadly) July 23, 2018
We met with Alice's family to learn about her life, death, and the lessons we need to learn to keep victims of stalking and abuse safe. pic.twitter.com/tNAwUdUZJL
People began to open up and share their stories using the hashtag #unfollowme.
I have my own personal story on top of friends' stories about stalking and its so frustrating to see it happen over and over again. It would be nice to know the law is there to protect victims instead of predators. Running away doesn't always help.— Ariela🌙 (@sailorariela) July 24, 2018
I've deleted my real Twitter due to harassment/ moved cities due to police not helping me. I gave up a job I loved,a city I loved because I trusted someone.He was done for assault & harassment but was allowed on a nasty stalking campaign until I left when he threatened my life— Rihanna (@thisgirlrihanna) July 24, 2018
13 women reported Lane for stalking them before Shana. He was never charged by @cpsuk He stalked one woman for 10 years. This is exactly why the register is needed #HerNameWasShanaGrice #UnFollowMe @paladinservice @broadly @thedalstonyears @CloughJohn https://t.co/GGDhaf0h2K— Laura Richards (@laurarichards99) July 24, 2018
Some very brave people speaking out about how #stalking affects lives and yet it is still dismissed as “trivial” by some. No matter what level stalking occurs, it is still stalking. Huge thanks to @rachelhorman @paladinservice keep up your amazing work! @RitchieFiddes #Unfollowme https://t.co/vrce8TQTjP— Hazel (@Hazel_Ell) July 20, 2018
pls check out #UnfollowMe, the heartbreaking but utterly necessary new Broadly campaign which seeks the introduction of a lifesaving Stalkers Register to the UK. rly astonishing from @thedalstonyears, @misszing, and many more of my amazing coworkers:https://t.co/iXt41a5m1g— lauren o’neill (@hiyalauren) July 23, 2018
every year, women are killed by stalkers or abusers they've previously reported to the police. immensely proud of @misszing & @thedalstonyears for launching #unfollowme, a @broadly campaign to protect victims and introduce a stalkers register in the UK: https://t.co/ex8LtAeq1k— sara david (@SaraQDavid) July 24, 2018
stalking is more common than one might think: 2011 CDC stats say 7.5M people are stalked every year in the US and people ages 18-24 experience it in the highest rate— sara david (@SaraQDavid) July 24, 2018
i didnt take my stalker seriously in college and excused some of his behavior (like getting caught smelling my hair) as awkwardness. it wasnt until he was caught watching me from my backyard that i got a temporary restraining order.— sara david (@SaraQDavid) July 24, 2018
no stalking situations are exactly alike; there are no guarantees that what works for one will work for all, but if you think you might be a stalking victim, TAKE THREATS/RED FLAGS SERIOUSLY. trust your instincts and call 911 or a hotline (victim connect helpline: 855-4-VICTIM)— sara david (@SaraQDavid) July 24, 2018
It's not just women who are victims of stalking.
Mine used to text me things like, "Your lights are off, where are you? Let's hang out soon!"— Guy New York (@Quickiesnewyork) July 24, 2018
We hope the campaign brings renewed attention to the seriousness of stalking.