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Professionals take part in learning event to help protect victims of stalking

9 March 2023

To mark the International Women's Day we held a free learning event for community organisations and professionals working across the borough to help combat stalking and violence against women and girls.

Stalking is one of the most frequently experienced forms of abuse and can escalate to violence with 4% of adults aged 16 to 59 experiencing stalking in the last year. To combat this, we invited VAWG professionals to our event to treat the issue with the seriousness it deserves. Community groups were well-represented with organisations such as Hestia, NIA and the NHS South West London Integrated Care Board in attendance.

Speakers from the Met Police and voluntary and research sectors working to tackle stalking and harassment shared key learnings for VAWG professionals. Dr Maria Mellins, Associate Criminology professor at St Mary’s Twickenham and the Alice Ruggles Trust trustee led a discussion on the prevalence of stalking victims amongst young people with 35% of surveyed 13 to 24 year olds admitting to have been stalked. The talk encouraged attendees to consider the different behaviours that constitute stalking and how the community can support victims.

Attendees were provided the opportunity to hear the latest insights with Refuge’s Nadia Khaliq highlighting the charity’s Tech Safety Tool which encourages online safety and considers the role of smart devices in aiding perpetrators of stalking. The tool showcases how victims of stalking can be empowered to stay online whilst restricting perpetrators access to them.

Representatives from the Met’s local Neighbourhood Policing team also joined to outline the work they are doing to protect women and girls in public spaces and empower victims to report crimes. Their work includes partnering with us and the British Transport Police to support vulnerable people at the Safe Space in Richmond.

The event presented another opportunity to network with colleagues, discuss key challenges and find practical solutions to the issues faced by organisations as they support victims. The delivery of this event is part of our VAWG Strategy to prevent violence against women and girls. By working with local groups and professionals to understand the challenges in our community, we can create a place that addresses residents’ safety needs.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of stalking, you can get help by:

  • Reporting it to the police by calling 101 or 999 (in case of emergencies)
  • Calling the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300
  • Exploring our information

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Up to: March 2023

Updated: 9 March 2023

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