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16 Days of Activism 2020 – Day 8

Stalking

On Day 8 of #16DaysofActivism #VAWG we are linking this to Question 8 of the NPCC DASH Risk Assessment – which is Stalking.

At Changing Pathways we are lucky to have staff who are well trained in #stalking and Stalkingwho can support those survivors of #domestic abuse who are then relentlessly pursued by various means by their ex-partner.

There isn’t a government definition yet but we use the following one which is taken from the Suzy Lamplugh website: “Suzy Lamplugh Trust defines stalking as ‘A pattern of fixated and obsessive behaviour which is repeated, persistent, intrusive and causes fear of violence or engenders alarm and distress in the victim.

Stalking causes serious alarm & distress and can induce fear in the person being stalked. Not knowing what will be next and permanently looking over your shoulder is exhausting and can cause anxiety and depression.

But stalking is a crime and was made a crime in November 2012 thanks to campaigners such as Tricia Bernal, Carol Faruqui and many others whose hard work paid off.

However, for Tricia and Carol this wasn’t about hard work this was about preventing other women from being murdered. Both Tricia and Carol’s daughters’ were murdered by their ex-partners. This piece is to commemorate Clare Bernal and Rana Faruqui’s lives and highlight the need to understand this crime.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/feb/07/rana-faruqui-campaign-stalking-laws

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/feb/27/gender.ukguns

Since the stalking legislation came into play there is still a huge gap in knowledge across the country around how #stalking & #harassment differ and even just recognising #stalking.

There are various agencies, including Changing Pathways who can train police, Judges, CPS, social workers, health practitioners, hairdressers and anyone on how to recognise stalking and how to support victims of #stalking.

There are still too many women being murdered by their #stalker. We can prevent these deaths with knowledge via training & campaigns, co-ordinated approaches ie multi-agency working, bespoke safety planning and ensuring that each person who reaches out for support around being stalked is risk assessed. Time & time again we hear at DHRs there wasn’t a risk assessment, the multiple crimes of the stalker were treated in isolation instead of as the more serious crime of stalking.

If there are breaches of non-molestation orders or restraining orders. These aren’t just breaches – this is further stalking.

Another issue is police asking the victim “what do you want me to do about it?” This is not a question you ask a victim. Explain that stalking is a crime, that it will be taken seriously, validate the victim, crime it as stalking and NOT harassment, refer to specialist agencies – there are many around the country. We cover Essex and you can find the other #stalking support agencies across the country listed on the National Stalking Helpline’s website see below.

Changing Pathways worked with Essex Police and SETDAB (Southend Essex Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board) to create the following #stalking campaign to help people recognise the signs: https://www.essex.police.uk/news/essex/news/news/2019/september/stalking-campaign-aims-to-help-you-see-the-signs/

https://setdab.org/resource/setdab-domestic-abuse-awareness-campaign-2020/

There is a national consortium of experts on #stalking set up to try and improve the response to stalking and influence change, to find pockets of excellence and to challenge pockets of poor performance.

Please take stalking seriously. The following links may be helpful:

National support: https://www.suzylamplugh.org/pages/category/national-stalking-helpline

Regional support in Kent: http://www.protectionagainststalking.org/

Training and advocacy: https://www.abusefreelife.com/

Regional support Fylde: https://www.fcwa.co.uk/adults/stalking/

National: https://www.alicerugglestrust.org/

Sussex: https://veritas-justice.co.uk/

National support: https://paladinservice.co.uk/

Essex: https://changingpathways.org

Regional support in Gloucestershire: https://www.splitz.org/gloucestershire/stalking-and-harassment.html

Apologies to those I have missed out ….please feel free to comment and share your agency too and the area you cover. Let’s stop stalking and save lives together.

#femicide #16DaysofActivism #orangetheworld #EVAWG2020 

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