Stalkers still operating during lockdown as National Stalking Helpline highlights calls to charity

The charity foundation which runs the UK’s National Stalking Helpline has highlighting the urgent need to ‘see stalking clearly’ and to ensure stalking victims are still visible and supported throughout the response to Covid-19 as calls continue to be made by victims.

Saturday, 25th April 2020, 6:00 am

As part of National Stalking Awareness Week 2020, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust calls to the charity indicate that victims are still being stalked despite lockdown, particularly through online methods and social media it says.

Around 1.5 million people in England and Wales are victims of stalking annually and the charity said ‘it is vital that early warning signs aren’t ignored and victims feel able to ask for help at an early stage before risk escalates’.

In addition, the lockdown response means that stalkers are now able to almost guarantee where their victim will be for most of the time, according to the charity. One caller to the National Stalking Helpline described feeling like a 'sitting duck' in the current circumstances.

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Stalkers are still operating during lockdown

A spokesman for the charity said: "The Suzy Lamplugh Trust is calling on the Government to ensure that victims of stalking are recognised during these unprecedented times. Support and protection for victims remains as essential as ever, despite the difficult circumstances for all services affected by the response to Covid-19. Stalking must be prioritised as the devastating crime it is. Now more than ever it is so important that we See Stalking Clearly.t is calling on the Government to ensure that victims of stalking are recognised during these unprecedented times. Support and protection for victims remains as essential as ever, despite the difficult circumstances for all services affected by the response to Covid-19. Stalking must be prioritised as the devastating crime it is."

Suky Bhaker, CEO of the trust said: "Stalking is a crime of psychological terror that impacts on all aspects of a victim's life, often in ways that are long-lasting and irreparable. During the immensely difficult circumstances that many are experiencing amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, it is essential that victims of stalking are not forgotten and that essential services continue to support them.

"We know from the calls we have received to the National Stalking Helpline in recent weeks that stalking victims need support as much as ever and we want to reiterate our message that we are here to support you."