A woman whose stalker was jailed for five years after he subjected her to a six-month campaign of harassment — including threatening to rape her and her daughter — has appealed to people who face similar situations to keep records.
The first Irish study of those who have been stalked and/or harassed was published on Tuesday. The UCC study, which was undertaken in partnership with the Sexual Violence Centre Cork, found that in a considerable proportion of cases the perpetrator was categorised as a stranger.
However, the perpetrators identified by the victims were mostly known to them. Just 42 percent of respondents reported the incidents to An Garda Síochána.
The study was prompted by the bravery of Cork woman Una Ring and Galway student Eve McDowell who have both advocated for the introduction of a new, stand alone stalking offence.
Ms Ring, whose tormentor was jailed in February 2021, told the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk that what was inflicted on her impacts her to this day.
"It had a profound impact on me. I suppose it had positive [impacts] on the work that we did after, but it was negative, financially, mentally and emotionally.
"You're just nervous the whole time. It is very debilitating. "
Ms Ring said she is very nervous about the release of her stalker.
"I'm still on medication. I'm still very anxious out and about. It really hasn't left me. I'm already nervous about him getting out. It doesn't leave you.
Ms Ring said she understands why people choose not to report stalking incidents to gardaí.
"I can understand it. I suppose I was lucky in the way that my case progressed.
"I did go to [the gardaí] first — I printed off all the WhatsApp messages, text messages and the missed phone calls.
"It was easy to prove that it was going on... he provided all the evidence himself, really".
Ms Ring urged people to watch out for the development of patterns.
"If you see them one day, fine, but if you see them on separate occasions then there probably is an issue."