A woman who has been targeted by an attraction-seeking man is being encouraged to confront her attacker by animal attraction experts.
The campaign, called Animals Face the Cat , aims to give women a way to talk to and understand their attacker, who has taken their animal photographs in the hope of capturing their affections.
“We think the real problem is not their animalistic nature but the way they’ve gone about it,” Dr Ruth Wilson, chief executive of Animals Face The Cat, said.
“You have to start with empathy and the ability to understand how these predators use the animals around them.”
The campaign will run from Thursday through Sunday and will be presented at a number of national and international conferences, including the European Parliament.
A woman who identifies as an animal lover or animal lover animal welfare campaigner, Dr Wilson said it was essential for women to understand what was happening to them in their lives.
“What they need to understand is that there are so many animals around us that can be used to control us,” she said.
Ms Wilson said there were a number issues with the way people had been trained about animal behaviour.
“They’ve got to be taught that animals can do things.”
It’s not a matter of having an animal, it’s about having an attitude and a sense of responsibility,” she added.”
People don’t know how to approach these animals in a way that respects their behaviour and doesn’t make them feel like they’re doing something wrong.””
This is a real issue, there are people who have been stalkers and animals have been used as weapons.
“Animal lover and animal lover Dr Ruth is one of the organisers of Animals Eye the Cat, which aims to educate people about the rights of animals in their daily lives.
She said a woman could not simply walk up to a predator and say ‘you know what, I’d like to do something with you’.”
She has to be able to demonstrate that she can be a partner and a friend, not just a threat,” she explained.”
In the end it is not the animal, the animal is the problem.
“If you have a predator who is very powerful and you can’t talk to him, what is the point of trying to stop him?”
Ms Wilson has had success with other animal lovers organisations, such as the World Animal Protection charity and the British Animal Protection Network, which have had success in helping people recognise predators in their everyday lives.
Dr Wilson said while the campaign was based on the theory that animals were predators, she hoped it would have a positive impact.
“I think it will give a little bit of comfort to women, and a little more confidence that people will be able recognise and be able intervene,” she told RTE Radio One.
“When you’re looking for a predator, the predator is not going to take your word for it, they’ll be looking for it in the environment, they’re not going for it from a distance.”
“The key is not just to have a look around you but to be a proactive participant in the world.”
Ms Wilson added: “The most important thing to do is to understand the animal you’re dealing with, to understand it, to have the confidence to intervene.”
A number of animal lovers have taken up the campaign.
“There are so few things you can do about predators in a woman’s life that really matter,” said Dr Ruth.
“A woman’s relationship with her partner and children are the only thing that can protect her, and she needs to recognise that.”
The National Centre for Animal Welfare (NCAW) and the American Veterinary Medical Association have also signed up to the campaign, along with animal welfare charity RSPCA, which supports animal welfare.
The organisation has also set up an online support page for those concerned about being stalked.