On December 18 the Government announced that it would introduce legislation to create a criminal offence of coercive control. The aim of the new law is to protect domestic violence victims from sustained patterns of psychological abuse. The maximum sentence for anyone found guilty could be imprisonment for up to five years.
Think you've had a bad day? Spare a thought for this woman... Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa had to be rescued from a chimney by
The law needs to be modernised and if we are to challenge the behaviour of perpetrators appropriately, we need an offence that reflects the reality of domestic abuse in all its guises. By criminalising this form of abuse and having specialist legislation, similar to the stalking law introduced in 2012, it would send a message that abusive and coercively controlling behaviour within a relationship is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
A quick look at the comments under Adam Levine's 'Animals' video will leave you in no doubt about how 'sexy' the stalker look is perceived to be. In it, Levine is playing a butcher who doubles as a stalker, secretly following an unsuspecting customer's every move (Behati Prinsloo, played by his wife).
Changing the law cannot be a substitute for improving the police response. However, legislative change signals training and awareness and can drive culture change to better protect women and children, hold perpetrators to account and effectively lead to a reduction in murder. And police, prosecutors and courts must have the best possible tools to do their job and keep victims and their children safe.
Far too many don't self-identify as victims of stalking. Many think only celebrities can be stalked. Experiencing any sort of obsessional behaviour such as being followed home, being bombarded by texts and emails, or receiving unwarranted gifts to your home, should set alarm bells ringing.
I don't know about anyone else, but I noticed a death last week - something much bigger than an ice-cream scientist who led a small country 25 years ago.
Stalking is a real problem in the UK - in the last year, 4% of women and 3% of men reported having experienced stalking (Crime Survey for England and Wales 2011/12). For those affected it can have serious and long term impact.
Lasdun is a poet as well as a novelist, and his prose is filled with arresting observations and elegant turns of phrase.
Today, around half of all stalkers are ex-partners, and up to one in four of the population have suffered from being stalked. So many people start relationships not realising that the particular kind of possessive love exhibited by obsessional lovers, could turn romance into a nightmare.