A Stalking Advocate for Every Victim

A Stalking Advocate for Every Victim

The responses from the survey show that stalking advocates play a critical role in supporting a victim’s safety and wellbeing, as well as improving outcomes for those wanting to pursue cases within the criminal justice system. The overwhelming majority of respondents reported that their stalking advocate helped them to navigate the criminal justice system (90%) and improved their overall situation (88%).

Over one-third of respondents who were supported by a stalking advocate said their stalking advocate helped them report to the police, and approximately one in four said their stalking advocate helped them on their journey to getting their stalker charged, prosecuted, or convicted. Stalking advocates also helped victims to understand their rights, log evidence, apply for protective orders, and stay up to date on their case. In many cases stalking advocates represented the victim when dealing with police, courts, solicitors, and other professionals within the criminal justice system.

Respondents also said their stalking advocate was vital in ameliorating their overall wellbeing and mental health. Approximately three out of four respondents said their stalking advocate had validated their experiences and confirmed that they were experiencing stalking. Stalking advocates also helped respondents by assessing risk, creating safety plans, and empowering them to take next steps. It was not uncommon for respondents to express how lost they would have been without their advocate’s support.

The survey results demonstrate that stalking advocates have a significant and positive impact on the experiences of stalking victims: yet only one in four respondents worked with one. Many expressed their desire to be connected with a stalking advocate and believed that having a stalking advocate would have greatly improved their situation. Furthermore, only 15% of all respondents who reported to police were referred to a stalking advocate by the police, highlighting the need for better responses from those within the criminal justice system. The report concludes with policy recommendations for the government and criminal justice system, as well as a list of UK organisations that provide specialised stalking support.

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