This year’s conference, hosted by the Suzy Lamplugh trust, discussed stalking as a public health issue. It was discussed why it was a public health issue, how much progress we have made in terms of ongoing support for the victims and the accurate reporting of stalking, and how much further we really need to go to reduce where we are failing both the victims and perpetrators.
Why is it a public health issue? Well, the impact of stalking does not just affect one person; it affects the victim, the perpetrator and the bodies that support them. The victim suffers from long-term trauma and needs appropriate interventions to help with such. The report from the recent pilot study showcased how support is far from adequate; with 34% of victims who reach out for support being offered nothing. The report highlighted how there is a need for the health sector to have more awareness of ongoing trauma and be skilled to provide support. You can read more about the pilot here: https://www.suzylamplugh.org/new-study-finds-8-in-10-victims-of-stalking-show-symptoms-of-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-
Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills outlined the progress of the police force in support victim and improving reporting of stalking, stating by no means was their work over to improve reporting and support victims. The aim is to provide regional training for a CPS protocol for stalking, which will involve using the acronym of FOUR (Fixated, Obsessive, Unwanted and Repetitive), to distinguish between harassment and stalking, which is due to come into effect very soon. He also touched on research into new evidence-based tools for risk assessment and management, though the research was in its very early infancy aims to reduce reoffending, as well as providing much-needed security for victims.
We also heard about the great success of the MASIP projects at three sites; London, Cheshire, and Hampshire. Taking a multi-agency approach allowed practical inventions to be applied to reduce reoffending by shifting their negative behaviours to positive. In doing so, this aims to provide long-term safeguarding to the victim, by reducing the chance of them becoming a victim again or the offender finding new victims. You can read more about the MASIP project here: https://www.suzylamplugh.org/multi-agency-stalking-intervention-programme-masip
If you believe you are being stalked, or someone you know, do not hesitate to contact the police on 101 or the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.