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Risk Management in Stalking Victims: A Multi-Agency Approach to Victim Advocacy

Jerath, K., Tompson, L., & Belur, J. (2022).

Journal of Interpersonal Violence


This study explores the needs of stalking victims from the perspectives of stalking victims, advocates and stakeholders involved in a pilot Multi-Agency Stalking Intervention Program (MASIP). Findings revealed that victims believed the advocacy service of this unique Program aided their ability to cope with stalking.

Expanded Abstract:

There has been a vigorous push for action internationally to address the needs of stalking victims in the UK in recent decades. The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that there are over one million self-reported victims of stalking each year (Office of National Statistics, 2017). In contrast, a separate research study (Suzy Lamplugh Trust, 2019)  data revealed that police forces in England and Wales recorded only 8,364 cases of stalking in 2017. This suggests that a large proportion of stalking incidents are never reported to the police, indicating the huge discrepancy between self-reported and officially recorded stalking incidents.    

The absence of services available to victims of stalking has been observed by researchers, practitioners and policymakers in the UK and the USA (Spence- Diehl, 2004; Taylor-Dunn et al., 2018). This deficiency in service provision spearheaded by the MASIP provided holistic case management for stalking incidents in three sites in England. The MASIP brought together criminal justice practitioners, mental health practitioners and victim advocacy professionals to assist victims through the criminal justice process, to provide treatment to perpetrators and to coordinate multi-agency service provision. 

Victim advocates (VAs) were central to the delivery of MASIP support services to victims. In their capacity as the main point of contact between the MASIP and the victim, they offered emotional support, information pertaining to the criminal justice process, and assistance with finding resources and developing safety-planning strategies for vulnerable victims (Belur et al., 2019).