Charity conference marks one year of essential West Yorkshire stalking support service
and live on Freeview channel 276
In its first year, the West Yorkshire Independent Stalking Advocate Service has supported more than 350 people, offering specialist, individual support to high risk victims of domestic stalking – where the stalker is a partner, former partner or family member.
To mark the anniversary, Victim Support hosted a conference at Leeds City Museum yesterday (October 18), with expert speakers brought in to raise awareness among local communities about the impact of stalking, and how to tackle it.
Speakers included the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, who helped to fund the service, Victim Support’s CEO Katie Kempen, domestic homicide specialist Jane Monkton Smith, and Professor Clive Ruggles, whose daughter, Alice, was murdered by her former partner after a relentless campaign of stalking.
The event also saw presentations from cyber stalking specialists and stalking charities including the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Paladin.
Lesley McLean, area manager for Victim Support West Yorkshire, said: “We are thrilled that we were able to bring so many people, and such prominent speakers, together to shine a spotlight on our service and raise awareness about stalking.
“We want all victims of stalking in West Yorkshire to know that this is not something you should have to live with or bear alone, and our team of specialist support workers are here to help.”
Mayor Brabin said: “Stalking destroys lives, as perpetrators try to shroud their victims under a cloud of fear, robbing them of life as they know it.
"But we’re committed, together with our partners, to turning the tide.
"We’re standing up for victims and survivors, providing essential support, and empowering them to rebuild their lives.”
People can access support from the service by calling 0300 3730978.
The service is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Outside these hours, victims can contact the charity’s national 24/7 Supportline on 0808 1689111.