As two new offences of stalking come into effect, Theresa May writes about how the cowardly crime can shatter lives....
“Stalking is a sickening and cowardly crime. It can shatter lives, destroy relationships and force people out of their homes and jobs. Some tragic cases end in death.
Before becoming Home Secretary I realised just how seriously we need to take stalking after meeting a bereft mother whose daughter had been murdered.
Tragically Rana Faruqi was stabbed and murdered by an obsessed ex boyfriend after he waged a campaign of terror against her. Her mum Carol was determined to campaign for the victims of stalking and talking to her made me realise the full horror of stalking.
I asked the then government to act, and now I’m Home Secretary I’m determined to do all I can to stop more women suffering Rana’s fate.
Sadly her case is not a one off. One in six women has been a victim of stalking. Too many women live in fear, forced to look constantly over their shoulder. We need to end their suffering.
That is why we are acting now, on the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. These new laws send a clear message that stalking will not be tolerated.
Along with £40 million ring-fenced funding, this shows just how serious we are about tackling violence against women.
Our priority is the victims and we will do all we can to protect them. Stalkers will not get away with it. They must be dragged out of the shadows and brought to justice.’