Understanding Stalking

Stalking: The Hidden Dangers, the Silent Crime
Workshop Training  Proposal

For Professionals working within the Criminal Justice System, NHS, Educational Institutions and Victim Support Services.

Introduction

Stalking is a dangerous and devastating crime that can irrevocably change the lives of victims. It is a crime, which has been poorly understood and without  doubt minimized.

It only now being recognised that the serious manifestations of  stalking underpin some of the worst and more serious forms of anti social behaviours  and violent crimes.

Action Scotland against Stalking

On 31st March 2009, Ann launched Action Scotland Against Stalking and spearheaded a media campaign to raise awareness of stalking to the general public and criminal justice agencies involved, to inform of the serious impact stalking has on its victims and to campaign for legislative change to recognise stalking as a crime in Scotland.

In June 2010, the new ‘Offence of Stalking’ was enshrined within the new Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and on 13th December 2010, the new offence came into force.

Historically, stalking has been treated as a nuisance crime, thus missing the point that stalking sits within a wide agenda and manifests within many other serious crimes.

Stalking can be a precursor of the ultimate acts of violence, rape and murder and those who survive are often left with serious repercussions to their psychological, physical emotional social and financial health.

Ann also raised awareness that stalking is a key element underpinning many cases of domestic abuse, honour based violence, racialhatred crimes, cyber stalking, community hatred crimes, ,bullying, and identity-theft.​

Offence of Stalking

The new ‘Offence of Stalking’ is a groundbreaking and historical achievement within Scottish Criminal Law. Ann contested that stalking should be defined not just in terms of the perpetrators behaviour but also on the impact on the victim.

The new law states that intent does not need to be proven for the behaviour to be constituted as a crime. This victim centred approach is a groundbreaking achievement within Scottish Criminal Law.

Stalking is a victim-defined crime where the ‘gravamen of the offence is not in the perpetrators behaviours per se, but the effect it has on the victim’​.

This will have a substantial impact for future victims, who will have their torment acknowledged and acted upon as a criminal offence.

Ann also takes an active part in developing training material to educate police officers and other criminal justice agencies regarding the impact of stalking on victims and the need for appropriate support for the victim.

Stalking is a dangerous crime which serves to place the victims in a place of fear through sustainable, unpredictable psychological attack with repercussions to their physical, mental, emotional, social and financial lives.

Many survivors (and not all survive) of a stalker are left with permanent, often incapacitating, psychological damage.

Because every stalking case is potentially lethal, it is important practitioners gain a better understanding of victim impact in stalking cases. Through early identification and intervention, the greater the chance of protecting the victim from harm.

Aim of Workshop

This over all aim of this workshop will be:-

To explain the concept of stalking, identify the key components of this crime, the role
you play to aid investigation and support to victims providing you with the knowledge to
integrate the new Offence of Stalking.

By the end of this course, delegates will be able to:-

  • To explain the concept of stalking as defined within the legislation’
  • To identify and list a wide range of behaviours which constitute the offence of
    stalking
  • To describe the different ways that stalking can impact on victim’s health and well-being.
  • To state at least four actions to consider when dealing with stalking incidents within the role you play

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