Stalking research

Date:
Blurred, dark picture of woman as she walks away from shot.
The impact of stalking is not confined to victims

Research carried out by Heriot-Watt's Dr Lorraine Sheridan, a forensic physiologist and Senior Research fellow at Heriot-Watt has found that the impact of stalking is not confined to victims.

Considering Scotland is a relatively small country I was amazed at the numbers who contacted me

Dr Lorraine Sheridan

In each case an average of 19 people were adversely affected and the vast majority of victims lost more than £5,000 as a direct result of hours lost at work and legal expenses.

In her study Dr Sheridan investigated victims from more than 40 countries, including 700 from Scotland alone. She told the Herald “Considering Scotland is a relatively small country I was amazed at the numbers who contacted me”.

The Scottish Government is to include a specific offence of stalking as part of the Criminal Justice Bill that is currently being considered at Holyrood. Dr Sheridan views this as significant. “The Scottish Government amendment was good but it needs to have teeth. We don’t necessarily need a new law but we do need a policy change.”