More effective protection for stalking victims on its way?

A Private Members’ Bill proposing measures to increase protection for victims of stalking passed second reading in the House of Commons yesterday afternoon, with all-party support.

The Stalking Protection Bill, sponsored at second reading by Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)(Con), proposes to intervene earlier and more effectively, not only in-person stalking by persons known to their victims, but also online stalking by individuals who are not known to those they stalk. Dr Wollaston stated,

There remains in the law…a serious gap when it comes to victims of what is known as stranger stalking, by which I mean those who are stalked by someone who is not a former or current intimate partner. Those victims of stalking do not have recourse to the protections available under the existing protection order regime. That is well recognised, which is why I think there is widespread support for the Bill. If we can step in at an earlier stage, perhaps we will have a better opportunity to prevent stalking before the behaviour can become so deeply engrained.

Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman agreed, noting that cases of stalking have been increasingly switching from personal to online. “The law finds it very difficult when someone is being stalked from elsewhere in the world”, he said.

Dr Wollaston confirmed that the Bill “specifically notes that acts carried out from outside this country will also be taken into account, particularly with regard to online stalking”. This will come as welcome news to victims who have been stalked and harassed by individuals posting from beyond this country’s borders.

Stalking Protection Orders

If the Bill is enacted into law, it will introduce a form of early intervention in cases of stalking, in the form of Stalking Protection Orders, which would be civil in nature but which would carry a criminal penalty if they were breached. This is not intended to replace prosecution where the criminal threshold has been met, but rather will offer a tool to ensure that victims are protected during the extremely stressful (and often long) interim period between reporting the crime and seeing it proceed to court.

Stalking Protection Orders “are intended to act not only in those types of cases, but perhaps where the criminal threshold has not been met but it is recognised that the acts are at risk of escalating”, said Dr Wollaston, adding that penalties for criminal breach will have “real teeth, with a maximum sentence of up to five years”.

The civil protection orders will allow us to put in place a bespoke regime of not only prohibitions but requirements on the perpetrators, setting out very clearly what they must not do—in other words, stop contacting not only the victim but those around them—and setting out the ways in which that might take place. In some cases, perpetrators are not well, so the Bill will also allow the court to set a requirement that they attend a mental health assessment. There is also a notification requirement: perpetrators would have to give notification of all the names and aliases that they used in order to stalk their victims, and their address.

Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk pointed out that while “sentencing is principally about protecting victims after stalking has spiralled out of control, the SPOs are about arming the courts with tools to address this behaviour beforehand; they are about prevention as well as protection”.

Mr Chalk pointed out that the SPOs set out in the Bill

will provide a powerful tool to be used while a stalking investigation is ongoing. They will give the magistrates courts a larger and better equipped toolbox with which to tackle such behaviour at an early stage and to protect victims. An order will be able to prohibit acts associated with stalking or require an individual to do anything described in the order. That can be used to impose positive obligations, which is an important difference. Ordinary bail conditions can say, ‘You must not go within a hundred yards of that address’ or ‘You must attend court on such and such an occasion’, but this order could impose positive obligations, including an obligation to attend drugs or alcohol programmes.

This could be a positive step for victims of people promoting the Hampstead SRA hoax: once issued with an SPO, perpetrators could be required not only to refrain from future stalking behaviour, but also to remove posts currently online.

‘One of the most psychologically destructive crimes’

Calling stalking “one of the most psychologically destructive crimes”, Rotherham MP Sarah Champion cited the words of a stalking victim from last year’s “Living in Fear” report, a joint project from the Crown Prosecution Service and the Inspectorate of Constabulary:

‘You carry it all the time…it’s with you day in day out. Day in day out…it’s in the back of your mind all the time, ‘What is he going to do? What are we going to find…Who’s going to come knocking at our door?’

Imagine how that feels. Imagine feeling too scared to go out to get a pint of milk or walk your dog. Imagine feeling so scared that you have to move house. …

Stalking does not have to lead to physical violence to be incredibly harmful. In a case study from the “Living in fear” report, Elaine became aware of seven websites that were created about her containing malicious content, including pictures of her and details of her personal life which were then shared with her children and employers. When Elaine initially contacted the police, she felt that they were not interested. They advised Elaine that there was not enough evidence to arrest the person as there was no direct threat. It took 12 months of monitoring the posts before the person was arrested. Understandably, Elaine was scared to go out of the house. She had to change to a lower-paid job where she would have some anonymity. Her children had to move schools and she has suffered with anxiety.

A stalking protection order would have given the police an option for an early intervention that would have protected Elaine while the investigation was ongoing. Like Elaine, many victims report being unsatisfied with the police response to stalking.

MPs discussed the need for better internet tracking capability, as well as the urgent need to bring police up to speed on the reality of stalking.

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis described a chilling case of stalking which had occurred in her constituency, noting that the stalker did not limit his attention only to his victim, but contacted members of her family. This is a familiar story to those targetted by the Hampstead hoax: they were harassed online, but also had to cope with vitriolic and disgusting emails and texts sent to their friends and families. One person reported that Charlotte Ward had “mined” his Facebook friends list, sending messages to all 300 of his friends and family, notifying them that he was a “baby-eating paedophile”.

Mr Chalk pointed out that

if the SPOs are going to work, they will have to be deployed quickly. If there is too much delay, there is a risk of the behaviour becoming entrenched and therefore far more difficult to address. Why do I say that? Because my experience as a prosecutor in court, prosecuting offences of this nature and speaking to witnesses and victims, tells me that committed, entrenched stalkers show themselves unwilling to comply with orders of the court, or even incapable of so doing, even though that might lead to imprisonment. Very often, by the time someone gets to the long process of prosecution, the stalker will have ignored the police officer who told them to stop, and they will have ignored the harassment warning and the bail conditions that ordered them to stop. If a solution is to work, the problem needs to get nipped in the bud early, which will require police officers to take matters seriously.

In other words, standing back and hoping that the stalking behaviour will pass, as seems to have happened on so many levels in the Hampstead case, is simply not good enough.

What does this mean for Hampstead hoax victims?

At present, while this Bill shows encouraging signs of progress in the treatment of cases of stalking, it means very little in practical terms. As the following graphic will show, it has now passed second reading, and will proceed to the Committee stage:

While this is a significant achievement for a Private Members’ Bill, most of which die on the Order Paper or at first reading, it will be some time before the Bill can pass through all the stages needed to receive Royal Assent (assuming it makes it that far). Will it be enacted in time to help victims of this hoax? Given the glacial pace at which Westminster tends to work, that’s doubtful. (Then again, back in 2015 we all thought the Hampstead hoax would be over within the year. Slight miscalculation there.)

Even so, we see this as a very positive, forward-thinking development in the approach to stalking—particularly stalking of the online variety—and we wholeheartedly applaud it, along with those who have helped it proceed to this stage

100 thoughts on “More effective protection for stalking victims on its way?

  1. Can’t they just stop fannying around and do something because this is causing too much harm, en masse and could easily be stopped and nipped in the bud. There must be technical ways. What about a tag, which somehow denies them internet access, like a blocker…. detox and rehab toolkits could be set up, oh I was going to say online, hmmm but maybe some charities already working with young people could take it into schools, community groups, political social clubs, all those speakers that are addicted to speaking, could be like in AA meetings, in fact maybe stalkers anonymous or something…… churches, I think there really could be a nationwide campaign, because I really think that Fresh Start Foundation intend to find it in every town possible, nationwide if allowed to continue…. Though I think the message is being recieved loud and clear…

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is discussion in the Bill about getting psych evaluations for accused stalkers as part of the early intervention, which might address at least some of what you’re talking about. I know, it all takes too damn long, and we needed this three years ago. But it’s still heartening to see that the government and courts are starting to understand the real implications of stalking.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Yes, but it’s not like other victims have been silent before this hoax.
        I’m always glad to see progress. But I think the lack of progress is dismal and it behooves the government to make amends by helping clear up the preventable mess that we are now in.
        Even that MPs have disclosed that they are survivors is very new. When I came out, so few would for fear of losing thier jobs or being denied the possiblitity of working within fields to effect change.
        That is a massive new good shift.
        But because of false allegations, very generalised statements are being made, which the survivors giving testimony at IICSA do not deserve to be included in.
        It’s a shame that the charlatans made a beeline for politicians and pokice whistleblowers and I hope they can unravel what may have been put into their heads, journolists too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Paedo trolls have been stalking the likes of heroic iconic women such as Joanne Madzelichs who arrested the singer Ian Watkins and also trying to discredit one of the countries best proven psychics Danielle La Verite. She however was able to get several of these trolls arrested .This is a fact.
    Trolling should carry an automatic jail sentence.

    Like

    • Jo Madjelics who offered to have a baby with Watkins so that they could rape it together? That one? Oh sorry, she was just trying to entrap him, wasn’t she.

      And she hasn’t been trolled. She’s a typical troofer drama queen who defines trolls as anyone who disagrees with her or asks her questions she can’t answer, and blocks anyone who fails to kiss her arse. Just like Danielle and Spivey, in fact. I speak from personal experience of all three, btw.

      Liked by 2 people

    • A56, do think it might be a good idea to learn how to spell Jo’s surname before claiming to be a fan? Just a thought.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It was proven in court that everything Jo did in those 7 years including flying to LA and having his initials IDKW tattooed on her lower back etc was all in order to trap him.
        If only there were more detectives willing to go that extra mile then there would be no more peedophilias or anything. Fact.

        Like

        • Yet again we see that those who fulminate and claim to be ‘child protection advocates” while attacking this blog which is ALL about protecting the children, are fans of known or convicted pedophiles or their partners and associates.
          Thea56 fits the bill.

          Like

    • “Paedo trolls have been stalking the likes of heroic iconic women such as Joanne Madzelichs”

      Sorry A56 but would you care to explain how arguing with Jo makes someone a paedophile? What am I missing? And please bear in mind that defamation is illegal, as you yourself pointed out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the update, EC. Good to see things are (slowly but surely) moving in the right direction.

    On a related note, there was something on the news this evening about how Facebook and Twitter brought down record numbers of inappropriate posts last year. As we know, they still have a long way to go but it’s a step in the right direction at least.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Responding to the SAFF tweet thread currently active on the blog ‘feed’ :

    @SAFFers – I found your Epping Forest link in that thread. I’m not sure why I hadn’t read that article before…there is a LOT of content on your site though 🙂 , still… I have been sifting through it for decades (I believe). Whatever.
    Brilliant! yet again I must say, perhaps made even more so by your retention of the historic “voice” it was originally composed in, which demonstrated the depth of your foresight as well as the wisdom of your analysis right from the beginning. Some of the statements about the UK social work profession might be seen as unfairly sweeping & generalized, but I can affirm for you – (as a resident of North America and so not directly involved in or affected by UK social work/ child protection/ legal policies, and hopefully fully capable of objective observations) – that my own investigations and observations over many years absolutely mirror what you’ve said in that article.
    Thanks again for all the great info over the years, also.
    [I didn’t realize, before, that Sue Hutchinson was a “survivor” claimant. As in, an SRA survivor claimant?]

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Chris Spivey is the best author in the UK and Danielle La Verite is one of the best and most requested public speakers around. Both of them support Joanne .They would not do so if she was not such a hero. Danielles youtube videos get millions of views and Chris Spiveys books are bestcsellers on Amazon. This is undisputtable
    fact.
    Where are your books and views eh?

    Like

    • Good work UK Callum, it’s very thoughtful of you to let KSC know that the UK no longer has the opportunity to accidentally come across her vile Facebook page.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Hmm, referring to a British bloke called Avid Mador as an Israeli woman called Avid Mater. With quality journalism like that, it’s hardly surprising her blog is “the 52nd most viewed website in the World” 😀

        Liked by 4 people

      • That thought did cross my mind as well Liza. Do Israeli keyboards type English differently than other keyboards?

        Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve always had mixed feelings about these groups. On the one hand I want people who predate on children caught and prosecuted and the police don’t have the resources to do the necessary work. On the other hand you just can’t have people taking vigilante action. I believe one group of ‘hunters’ don’t publish their videos until after a conviction, but from what I’ve seen most of the others post video prior to that, which is basically wrong because mistakes can be made and they can begger up police investigations which might be underway. There seems to be a lot of ego involved too, with ‘hunters’ wanting to look like heroes.
      So yes…I’m glad the police are stepping in.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. “If only there were more detectives willing to go that extra mile then there would be no more peedophilias or anything” – regrettably, it is highly unlikely that anything could bring about “no more pedophiles”.

    Regrettably, its not possible to prevent adolescents from developing paraphilic sexual “attractions”, including pedophilia, because the process by which they are ‘acquired’ is subconscious and essentially random. (Freud’s theories are less helpful to understanding the development of paraphilic sexual arousal, than the competing Sexual Arousal Cue Imprinting theory postulated by Sexologists).
    So, “no more pedophiles” is a hopelessly utopian goal – but “no more sexual predators” or “no more sexual predation of children” are more realistic and practical goals to strive for. It may not be possible to prevent our youths from acquiring tragic and potentially dangerous sexual attractions, but EVERYONE can learn to control their impulses & behaviour.

    I do understand what you are really saying, though. Tracking down, arresting, convicting and imprisoning persons who refuse to exercise control over their sexual impulses – that is the most immediately important and practical goal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • True Justin, but to date, there has been zero evidence of anyone originally accused having been a pedophile in the Hampstead case, just hoaxers (many who associate with or in some cases housed convicted ones) who have falsely accused others.
      This also needs to be stamped out, and seems to be even less on the governments radar about doing anything about it- there are some small beginning efforts, but it should have been dealt with by the courts and police long ago.

      I know the people concerned are probably well and truly sick of the whole thing and probably dont want to deal with the courts anymore, but I personally am of the opinion that the only way to deal with these scumbags is going to be them as the wronged party, to launch civil actions against any and all of these trolls who support and continue to lie online about them, in many cases we know who they are and where they live, get a good lawyer in each of their hometowns, and launch civil action against them, ideally R.D. would be the one to start as he is the one who has been affected the most by the continuation of this hoax.
      Just my thoughts on it

      Liked by 4 people

      • “True Justin, but to date, there has been zero evidence of anyone originally accused having been a pedophile in the Hampstead case, just hoaxers (many who associate with or in some cases housed convicted ones) who have falsely accused others” – yes, very obviously true! 🙂

        You shouldn’t take my straight-faced reply to that person’s comment as any kind of endorsement of or agreement with them 🙂 That’s why I didn’t reply to them directly.
        Just the convenient opportunity to clarify something important about human sexuality.
        For MALES, the following is true (for females…only female sexologists could say) – our sexuality has 3 components; genetic imperative, arousal cue imprints, and learned associations.

        Genetic imperative is an absolute over-ride, nothing you do or is done to you can effect a permanent change to it. It is simply an on-off switch like all genes, you will either prefer to love & mate with the opposite sex or the same sex, or either/both, with varying degrees of preference. Everything else about your sexual arousal will be acquired, sometime between birth and death.

        Arousal Cue Imprints are a permanent feature of your psyche. They can be acquired anytime between development of conscious awareness around 2.5-4 years, and the end of sexual maturity development around 16-21 years, and are a random subconscious process over which you will have no conscious control. You prefer big boobs, small boobs, no boobs, nipples of a specific size & shape, etc.,all that fun stuff. They are essentially paraphilic, but today we only use that term for potentially problematic arousal. Arousal cues are acquired throughout childhood but don’t become “fixed” until maturity and can come & go during adolescence. After maturity, they are permanent. They can be repressed, or enhanced through cultivation, but cannot be “extinguished”.

        Learned association arousals can be acquired anytime between puberty and the end of your life. They are also paraphilic in nature. They develop as a result of repeated exposure to a specific type of person, setting, circumstance or emotion, while in a state of sexual arousal. Learned associations will fade away if they are not repeatedly reinforced. Boys who are sexually abused by another male might develop a learned association arousal cue involving male anatomy or homosexual acts, but if their genetic imperative says: “I love women” then the homosexual association will lose its appeal over time if not sought out and repeated voluntarily.

        (Thus saith the Justin – these are my sincerely held beliefs – lol!)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you Justin.

          You know Valerie Sinason wrote a report for the Department of Health. I haven’t seen it before but it popped up.

          Here it is:

          https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/389624/response/969467/attach/4/REDACTED%20REPORT.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1

          If you are interested in historical resources and attitudes to child abuse and the legal situation in the UK, there’s oldbaileyonline.org

          Here’s an example of a case in 1749. Before anyone clicks the link it involves a child describing rape, and the accused was acquitted.

          https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?div=t17490113-11

          The references to age are, I believe, due to the age of consent. A child below a certain age could never consent. But, it was ridiculously low.

          My point is I think, that people hurting children is not a modern thing. What brave children to go to the Old Bailey with the public watching, no anonymity then, and sit in that imposing space, being questioned, asked if they know the difference between truth and lies, there were even rudimentary medical examinations.

          Even with the gap of centuries I challenge anyone not to be moved and impressed.

          I also recommend the site for browsing information about subcultures in London in general. In later cases there’s more of an effort to capture testimony. Garrow’s Law (the TV show) was familiar to me because I had read some of the cases there. It fascinates me that these are the lives of often ordinary people centuries dead, and there are their words. It is just interesting all round. The community histories is an interesting springboard into the records!

          Liked by 2 people

    • Oh dear. Not sure where this comes from, but it’s extremely unhelpful. Should the police ever get around to arresting Deborah, she could conceivably pull a “Rupert” and claim that she was being harassed in turn. That didn’t work in his case, but we really don’t want to give her that opportunity. That is why we stick to commentary on her known actions, not wild speculations intended to inflame things.

      Liked by 2 people

        • No, sometimes I think people post this sort of thing hoping it’ll help discourage the hoax promoters—taste of their own medicine sort of thing. Unfortunately, it conveys the message that the hoaxers really are being victimised, which we know is untrue.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Baloney had the habit of getting people to say they were abused by certain people at one time, I believe some one else was involved who calls her self a journalist too. But there is also one other who claims she was giving evidence at that enquiry who claims she was satanic ally abused, and is on video telling people not to report their own abuse. She is a complete liar and will tell anyone who’ll listen that she was in a paedophile ring. I believe it’s the tip of the iceberg, who else is lying?

        Liked by 2 people

      • @sheva – I suspect the answer to your “wtf?” can be found on Simon Just’s blog. His information about ‘political’ machinations & manipulations of the inquiry by a certain ‘cabal’/network of persons with very interesting social activism and financial ties, struck me as highly factual and credible.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have concerns about Mr Just’s behaviour online, however factual his blog might be. Unfortunately I’ve seen him act as “flying monkey”, viciously trolling more than one Twitter user, seemingly at the behest of another person. It’s unfortunate, as I think he’s an intelligent enough person; however, to me his behaviour detracts from his credibility.

          Like

      • Some times the journo’s on the Fail do tell the truth. I’ve actually had a gut full of people making it up, or being encouraged to make it up.

        Liked by 1 person

    • @farmer giles –
      Intriguing parallels between recent “elite pedo” police investigators, victim claimants, and their advocates, refusal to acknowledge that there was anything problematic about the abuse narratives victims provided in cases where investigations ended without any charges – ala Esther Baker – and what SAFF had to say about SRA obsessed social workers in that Epping Forest article:
      http://saff.nfshost.com/eppingcs.htm

      “Quite rightly the judge directed the jury to bring not-guilty counts on all charges. The social workers, ever ready with a justification, are already complaining about the way British Justice works, and are trying to suggest that the trial failed because of the stresses put on children when giving evidence. This is an unfair misinterpretation of events. An example of the use of emotional blackmail to carry favour. Had the judge thought that the children were indeed suffering from the court situation he had the powers to intervene and he would have rearranged things to avoid that problem. The facts are that the judge instructed the jurors to return a not guilty verdict because ‘the girl’s evidence was so uncertain, inconsistent and improbable that IT WOULD NOT BE RIGHT TO SEEK A CONVICTION’ using her testimony alone and there was no other evidence to support a prosecution. T hese comments from the protagonists in the Child Abuse Industry should be seen for what they are, excuses!

      What they are really trying to say is that the social workers were right all along and that despite the fact that the court has found the defendants not guilty the plain inference is that these people ARE GUILTY. What happened to being ‘innocent until proven guilty’, (what happened to being innocent when proven innocent? )”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And, I note that the IICSA is now chaired by a (very experienced) social worker-academic, after a series of chairpersons with criminal justice experience and the qualifications to conduct a genuine judicial inquiry were forced out by farcical allegations that they were tainted by associations to rumored abusers (against whom no charges were ever laid), or that they had committed misconduct (false) or were falsely accused of being abusers themselves. False accusations used as a weapon, yet again.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You see if it was a lie they would all be supporting it, but because it’s true they call it a lie. What is it with these people.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. More disturbing activity – Mark Watts tweeting:
    “Should #CSAinquiry hire Mike Veale to boost its investigative capability to help probe #VIPaedophiles?”
    as a follow up to this interview with Veale:
    http://www.foiacentre.com/news-Edward-Heath-CSAinquiry-Mike-Veale.html

    “Wiltshire Police chief constable Mike Veale warns that the overarching inquiry into child sexual abuse may be hampered by an absence of “pro-active investigative capability”.
    The officer who led ‘Operation Conifer’, the national investigation into Sir Edward Heath, the late former prime minister, hopes that the inquiry will take over the momentum on investigating a possible establishment cover-up over child sexual abuse (CSA).
    Asked what lessons he drew from Operation Conifer, Veale said: “I have been really struck over the last two years by the amount of people that have come to me privately to offer views about their distrust of the political establishment, that is probably the best way to describe it, and their genuine belief that there has been conspiracy, cover-up and people being complicit, whether that is senior civil servants, colleagues in policing, government, the wider judiciary.”
    The country needed to address this “sinister undercurrent that may or may not exist.”

    [May or may not? That’s a very revealing attempt to portray yourself as objective & unbiased, Mike. You wouldn’t suggest that “the country” needed to address “a sinister undercurrent”, if you really believed it might not exist]

    “He continued: “That is what I have been surprised about. That’s not Mike Veale saying that, that’s just because you are in the eye of the story, people make contact with you.”
    Did he believe these suggestions? “I am absolutely not a conspiracy theorist. I just don’t know. I don’t know.” ”

    [Of course you are a conspiracy theorist, Mr Veale. If you could still say, after all the recent elite pedo accusation investigations which could not meet the standard of evidence for charges to be brought or a definitive statement about the guilt of the accused to be drawn – including your own investigation – that a sinister undercurrent of establishment cover-up over CSA needs to be investigated, then you must believe there has been and continues to be a cover-up regardless of there being no provable evidence for that.
    “A crime was committed! But there’s no proof the crime was committed. That’s because the proof was covered-up! But you didn’t find any documentation of such a cover-up. That’s because the cover-up was itself covered-up, leaving no trace of the original crime which definitely happened!” That’s the muddled logic of conspiracy theory alright.]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with Mike Veale that there is a sinister conspiracy operating in this country.
    Where I part ways with him is that I believe that there is a conspiracy of deluded psychotherapists, psychiatrists and police officers who are giving credence to batshit crazy conspiracy theorists.

    I do believe that there are cults that sexually abuse children and vulnerable adults. I just don’t share the opinion that the cults are satanist / satanic. In fact much of the insane practises of so called mental health professionals like Sinason and her ilk could quite reasonably be described as abuse by cults.

    Have you ever tried to have a rational conversation about child abuse with a troofer? I have and it’s usually just as pointless as telling someone in a cult that they are in a cult.

    Liked by 1 person

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