NUS has called on the Government has called on the government to recognise stalking as a specific offence, in a response to a Home Office consultation.
Stalking is currently covered under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, but we believe that making stalking a specific offence would raise awareness of this crime and help send a clear message to perpetrators that stalking is a crime and they will face punishment. We would also like to see the legal definition of stalking broadened to include cyberstalking, which is an increasingly wide problem.
Whilst we have welcomed the government’s review into stalking, we are nevertheless disappointed that there has been little focus by the government on women in FE and HE. The NUS Women’s Campaign report Hidden Marks found that women students are 3 times more likely to experience stalking than the general population.
You can read the full consultation response here.
NUS Women’s Officer, Estelle Hart commented: “Women students should feel safe to peruse their studies and social life without the fear of stalking, harassment and violence. The government must commit to protecting women students, and working with institutions and students’ unions to ensure a zero tolerance approach to stalking is taken”
The Hidden Marks report is part of our wider work on harassment and violence faced by women students. You can find out more at our website, along with specific information on what to do, and who you can contact, if you are currently being stalked.