Alex Chalk MP for Cheltenham has pledged his support for victims of stalking in Parliament during National Stalking Awareness Week with Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
National Stalking Awareness Week is an annual, national event which aims to broadly raise awareness of the dangers of stalking. This year, National Stalking Week is taking place from 18th-24th April. Stalking will affect one in five women and one in ten men in their lifetimes, and of all domestic homicides 40% of the victims were stalked prior to death, so it is vital to raise awareness of the dangers associated with this behaviour.
Alex Chalk, along with Richard Graham MP, hosted Suzy Lamplugh Trust in Parliament this week to show concern and support for survivors of stalking. The event was hosted as part of Alex and Richard’s campaign to increase the maximum sentence for stalking from five to ten years’ imprisonment.
Speaking on the dangers of stalking, Rachel Griffin, Director of Suzy Lamplugh Trust stated: ‘Stalking is a hidden crime in our community. There are very few stalking-specific support services and those that are available are stretched to their limits. Stalking has a devastating impact on the life of the victim and their loved ones. There needs to be more support for victims so that they can be safer and feel safer.’
Speaking of the event, Alex added:
‘Stalking is a serious crime which ruins the lives of not just victims, but also the lives of their friends and family. I was inspired to campaign for better protection for victims after learning about the ordeal of my constituent, Dr Ellie Aston. I want to see the maximum sentence for stalking increased from five years’ to ten years’ imprisonment. It is time for the punishment to fit the crime, and we are delighted to have had this opportunity to gather so much support from our colleagues here in Parliament.’
If you have been affected by stalking, please call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 for advice and support.