Within hours of the conclusion of our Spring training meeting, e-mails from colleagues started to pour in, of which these are but a sample:

“In 27 years as a magistrate last Saturday’s presentation was simply the best that I have ever attended. It was informative, instructive, moving.”

“I left the meeting in somewhat of a daze. It has to be the most powerful and thought-provoking meeting I have ever attended. I don’t think anyone expected it to have anything like the impact it most clearly did. It has certainly provided me with a great deal of food for thought for the future.”

The event in question was our conference, ‘Out of the shadows: surviving stalking’. What made this seminar so different and deeply moving was that during the course of the morning we heard the testimonies of Tricia Bernal, Carol Faruqui, Frank Mullane and Tracey Morgan who, directly or indirectly, had been affected by stalking. Three of the speakers were close relatives of those who had paid the ultimate price – their lives – and one, Tracey, was a survivor of stalking, though it became clear that she is unlikely ever to be able to say she is not suffering from post-traumatic stress, such is the ongoing trauma she still experiences. We heard from victims that they suffer anxiety, anger, sleep and appetite disorders: some even contemplate suicide. Furthermore, on average 21 people close to a victim become affected by the whole trauma too…..

….In order to learn more we cannot recommend highly enough hearing from those who have first-hand knowledge and expertise within this area.

In the words of the Vice-Lord Lieutenant: ‘You gathered together a world-class team of speakers on this subject and gave us all a fascinating and deeply troubling morning. The bravery of the witnesses was truly humbling and their stories haunting.’

Certainly none of us who attended the meeting will ever look at stalking in the same light again.

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