An organization in the UK is rallying to create a registry which would identify those convicted of stalking to the public.
The Women’s Equality Party, a self-described “new collaborative force in British politics uniting people of all genders, diverse ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs and experiences” has launched an initiative “for immediate action to bring the law on stalking into full effect and reduce the risk to women.”
According to an official statement released by WE, the organization has kickstarted a campaign “to set up ring-fenced funding for stalking support services, specialist-led training for criminal justice professionals, perpetrator treatment and a register for serial stalkers.”
Their incentive, which has taken the form of a petition to the British government, would purportedly create an index similar to a public sex-offender registry.
“One in five women will suffer stalking in their lifetime, which is why WE are calling for a new, joined-up approach to stop this crime,” said Sophie Walker, a London mayoral candidate and WE party leader. “Today WE launch our campaign to set up ring-fenced funding for stalking support services, specialist-led training for criminal justice professionals, perpetrator treatment and a register for serial stalkers.”
In the statement, which was posted on April 17, the organization invoked a recent interview Lilly Allen gave to The Observer, in which Allen gave an account of her own seven-year nightmare with a stalker. Allen’s experience lead to the singer-songwriter teaming up with WE after the local authorities failed to prevent her stalker from furthering his agenda.
“As Lily’s story illustrates, the justice system still does not fully understand stalking behaviors and risks,” Walker said. “Lily carefully reported every single incident and collected evidence, but the police failed to join up the dots. WE understand that tackling stalking requires a joined-up approach and by joining us, you will help us push this to the top of the political agenda.”
WE cited a statistic that roughly 700,000 women are victims of stalking per year, and typified Allen’s experience as a sadly representative case.
“As with many other forms of violence, these are not isolated incidents but a structural violence perpetrated against women” says Walker. “As we have seen with Lily’s case, the police minimized her experience and denied Lily the support she deserved, failing to effectively manage the risk to her and her family, and ultimately weakening the case against the perpetrator.”
The petition itself points to the stories of two British women, Kirsty Treloar and Jane Clough, who were murdered by their stalkers.
As the petition reads:
“Our daughters could have been saved if their serial abusers were on a register and being managed and monitored. Currently there is no existing framework which can track or monitor serial domestic violence perpetrators and stalkers. Rather than the perpetrator being effectively controlled and managed, oftentimes it is the victims who are forced to modify and change their behaviour and even flee their homes and disappear themselves in order to stay safe, which is unacceptable.”
Contact the author at email@example.com.
Image via Getty.