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Rape Crisis Scotland

WORKING TO
END
SEXUAL VIOLENCE.

08088 01 03 02

Phone the free Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline
Every day, 6pm to midnight

Stalking: New campaign, research and resources
Stalking: New campaign, research and resources The Glasgow Violence Against Women Partnership, in conjunction with Glasgow Community Safety Services, Action Scotland Against Stalking and Rape Crisis Scotland have launched a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the realities of stalking and its impact – and what those who are subjected to this most insidious of crimes can do about it. “A Gift Too Far” and “I’ll Take Care Of You” demonstrate two of the many behaviours which can form part of what for some individuals amounts to a campaign of terror and harassment against them, often at the hands of a former partner, but sometimes undertaken by someone completely unknown to them. Occasionally, as illustrated in this first-hand account published in the Guardian magazine on13th April, those targeted have no idea who is responsible for terrorizing them in this way, and the stalking can continue for years. At a campaign launch event at the Glasgow Film Theatre, Action Scotland Against Stalking’s founder Ann Moulds spoke powerfully about the creeping damage inflicted by stalkers, the difficulties faced by those they target in identifying what is happening to them – and how they can confront it effectively. One of the most shocking statistics to emerge from the morning’s proceedings was the revelation that 77% of victims of stalking endure more than 100 incidents before reporting to the police. Encouragingly, however, new laws introduced in Scotland 2010 seem to be making an impact, with the number of cases prosecuted steadily increasing. During 2011, 435 stalking incidents were reported to police in Scotland and of those 321 progressed to the Procurator Fiscal. Prior to the introduction of stalking laws in Scotland individuals suspected of stalking were charged under Breach of the Peace legislation, with only 70 individuals being charged in this way in the decade from 2000. Information provided by the Crown Office in November 2012 under Freedom of Information outlines the statistics for Stalking prosecutions since the new legislation was introduced. Police have investigated more than 1000 cases of stalking since new laws made it a crime in Scotland ....

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Consistency, consideration, compassion – three Cs for responding to sexual violence
It is encouraging to see the Scottish Government taking such a strong stand on rape (‘ Scots police will treat rape as seriously as murder’ ), and hopefully the establishment of the new single police force for Scotland will offer a real opportunity to put the Justice Secretary’s sentiments into practice. For in spite of such good intentions, and the many positive developments that have taken place in Scotland over the past few years to improve the way in which our justice system responds to sexual violence, there is clearly still some way to go before we can be reassured that the response will be consistent. In a sickening case reported in the press in the same week as the Justice Secretary made clear his intentions and the seriousness with which rape is regarded in Scotland, a young woman in Lanarkshire, in the course of a chain of events entirely lacking in consistency, communication – (or and even more to the point compassion) was locked up by police in Motherwell for more than 24 hours, when they mistakenly believed that she had failed to turn up as a witness in a court case. The case was in fact the prosecution of a man for a sexual assault against her, and the woman, having checked with the special court line, had been assured that she did not need to turn up on the day she was arrested. This initial outrage was further compounded when, having taken ill whilst in custody, she was taken to the local hospital in handcuffs....

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