Being a stalking advocate must be one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs I have ever had. I have always been passionate about making a difference in the lives of people I work with, and this role has certainly given me the chance to play an active part in improving the lives of my clients, and support colleagues and partners in delivering the best possible service to some of the most vulnerable people in Sussex.
Stalking is a crime that has some of the biggest impacts on people’s lives. Not many crimes have the potential to be so invasive, all-consuming and destructive and so it is impossible not to be motivated by the strength and determination of clients who sometimes, through the most life changing experiences, continue to fight to regain control of their lives, they keep me going through the challenging days of my job.
I am privileged to bear witness to and represent my clients’ views, needs wishes and feelings when advocating for them in a variety of settings. It is with them in mind that I tackle my packed diary as I move between tasks such as directly speaking with and supporting clients, completing stalking specific risk assessments and safety plans, discussing client’s experience(s), reviewing what action has been taken, and working collaboratively to develop a plan of action going forward. Moreover, beyond the practical and sometimes technical advice, I can give clients, we build a safe space where people can express their sorrows and joys, sharing in our hope for a life of safety and freedom.
I set out here to describe what a typical day in my job is like, but no two days are alike. Every client is different and so is every professional, not to mention the different processes and thresholds of their respective organisations, so sometimes my days are stressful and frustrating. For example, court delays, limited resources, lack of understanding of stalking, poor communication and increasing demand can leave me exhausted. In an ideal world, people would not be stalked and terrified but until that is the case, I am glad that I am here to help when people need me the most.