Today is the start of a new week, National Stalking Awareness Week 2017 is over.

Despite this, it is still vital that we continue to push the message at every opportunity that stalking is a serious crime with the potential to end in tragedy. Some of us have known this for years yet our voices not loud enough to change attitudes. Changing laws has been relatively much easier!

We still have a long way to go in educating those who need it on the fact that anyone not taking a victim seriously – be it police, CPS, courts, prison or probation – has the potential to leave them with the prospect of an inquest and inquiry. It goes without saying that the victim will be already suffering psychologically from the terror of being stalked.

It is vital that a victim is taken seriously from that first report.  They are already feeling paranoid, stupid and are minimising what is happening to try to rationalise it.   It is likely the stalking has been happening for a while.

If a victim is asking for help, go back to basics, look at the evidence and behaviour of the alleged perpetrator; are these actions from a reasonable person? Or are they someone who seems obsessed, is their life preoccupied with their victim? Use those checklists and trust your instinct – do not just rely on a list of tick boxes.

Join the dots…put the acts together, don’t separate out 3 acts of criminal damage, breach of the peace etc… join them together to prove a course of conduct.

Let’s start looking at stalking as a prelude to murder, we have come so far since I first went public in 1995, but we still have a long way to go. Back then I was virtually a lone voice, now there are many other voices joining the chorus and doing amazing work.  Please let’s continue in harmony so that our voices can be heard and lives saved.

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Stalking Matters #NSAW17

April 27, 2017

When Nashville, USA introduced stalking legislation, their murder rate dropped by 50%.

Now there is evidence of a link, the UK needs to start looking at stalking behaviour as a prelude to violence and murder, then our fatality rate will go down too.

TO everyone who works in or with the Criminal Justice agencies:

Please ACT fast to prevent lives being damaged or destroyed.

Please ACT.

#StalkingMatters

94% Matters #NSAW17

April 26, 2017

So finally there is evidence that stalking can and does lead to violence/murder according to the latest Suzy Lamplugh Trust research.

About 15 years ago, when I led the Network for Surviving Stalking, we, together with Dr Lorraine Sheridan then at Leicester University, tried to undertake a similar piece of research to prove that there was a link. 

Of all the police forces, only 3 responded saying that of their murder cases, none were linked to stalking behaviour.

It is great to finally see the link recognised that stalking can lead to murder.

It is now time for the police and criminal justice agencies to ACT and put in place effective training and awareness so that lives will be saved.

#StalkingMatters

#LivesMatter

Contact The National Stalking Helpline:

http://www.stalkinghelpline.org

0808 802 0300

If it’s busy it means people are getting help, please keep trying!

If you feel in imminent danger, just dial 999

#StalkingMatters

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24th April 2017 kicks off National Stalking Awareness Week in the UK.  An opportunity to raise awareness that stalking:

  • is NOT just a celebrity problem
  • is NOT a minor nuisance crime
  • is NOT something the victim should feel flattered by
  • IS a serious crime
  • IS life changing and devastating
  • IS something which affects an average of 21 people around the primary victim
  • IS something which has the potential to end in tragedy

What are you waiting for?  Please post, repost, tweet, retweet, tell, write so the message is spread…

#STALKINGMATTERS

What is Stalking?

March 30, 2017

What is Stalking? – A great video made by the Welsh Government with support from the Network for Surviving Stalking.

If you have been or are a victim of stalking/harassment, please complete this survey to provide Parliament with an accurate reflection of what is happening to victims and the injustices of the criminal justice system. It is anonymous and all data will be secured as per the Data Protection Act.

For more information, please contact Zainab.Gulamali@parliament.uk

Please click on this link:

Abuse of Process survey

Thanks to MPs Alex Chalk & Richard Graham plus other campaigners in this field, stalking will now have a maximum sentence of 10 years, instead of the 5 it has been.  It is great news and sends a clearer message that a perpetrator may end up serving a long time.  It is important, however, that training takes place from the police to the judiciary and beyond so that stalking behaviour is better understood and the potential implications if it is not taken seriously.

This is my interview on Sky News this morning.

http://news.sky.com/video/stalking-sentence-to-be-doubled-10719485

I’ve been associated with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust since the 2 police officers on my case approached Diana Lamplugh in 1995 to see if she would be interested in supporting our calls for a specific stalking law.  The rest is (legal) history… http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/how-mother-disappeared-suzy-lamplugh-8511901

After another successful National Stalking Awareness Week, organised by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, highlighting different aspects of stalking and all that goes with it, I want to share a quote from a film that I really identified with.  It conveyed exactly what it is like for a victim when the stalker is allowed to continue.  When life suddenly becomes an existence and an education in survival skills; both mental and physical.  You’ve heard from not just me, but Claire Waxman, Sam Taylor both amazing women I am privileged to know, and Lily Allen, who has bravely spoken out – a victim puts their life in danger when doing so, so thank you to all the brave people who speak out and show the impact of what life is like with a stalker.

I hope this helps those in the Criminal Justice System understand the impact of NOT taking a stalking victim seriously.  Of NOT taking all possible routes of intervention.  Of NOT using all tools and appropriate laws available.

This is it:

“How do you pick up the threads of an old life?

How do you go on?

In your heart you begin to understand.  There is no going back.

There are some things that time cannot mend, some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.”

Frodo Baggins, Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring

A heartfelt thank you to all those who work together to make life better for victims.