Over 90% of stalking victims experience psychological impacts
Research from the University of Kent and Suzy Lamplugh Trust reveals the extent of stalking on victims.
The majority of stalking victims experience significant psychological impacts as a result of stalking behaviour according to a new study.
The research from the University of Kent, in partnership with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, finds that an increase in the variety of stalking behaviours experienced by victims results in heightened impacts on their psychological and physical wellbeing, and the wellbeing of those around them.
Furthermore, because victims are experiencing so many types of stalking behaviours (e.g. emails, threats, hacking, following or attending their home or workplace) it could mean that they have fewer spaces they feel safe to retreat to, to recover from the effects of the stalking intrusions, further compounding the negative impact.
The cases reviewed showed high levels of violence and victim impact following stalking behaviour including:
- 91.5% of victims disclosed psychological impacts of stalking such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse;
- 54% disclosed practical impacts on their lives and activities, including investing in extra security, limiting social activities and changing a workplace or home;
- 35% revealed that the stalking had an impact on other individuals around them such as children, family, friends, and colleagues.
The study was carried out by forensic psychologist Dr Jennifer Storey alongside Dr Afroditi Pina at the University of Kent, as well as Cherise Williams (Royal Holloway, University of London). The researchers analysed anonymous data from the National Stalking Helpline, part of the National Stalking Service run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
Suky Bhaker, CEO at the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, said: “We know from our work with thousands of victims a year that stalking has a deeply traumatic impact on most victims and this research reiterates the devasting psychological effect of multiple diverse behaviours carried out in-person and online…These findings highlight the urgent need for training across the criminal justice system in recognising the impact of stalking and provision of a trauma-informed response, as well as ring-fenced funding for specialist stalking support services, to provide holistic support to victims when they need it the most.”
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