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Committee proposes to qualify stalking as a criminal offence

Strasbourg, 24.06.2013 – In order to tackle stalking effectively, the report by Gisela Wurm (Austria, SOC), which was today adopted by the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-discrimination, recommends that stalking should be considered a criminal offence.

According to the rapporteur, stalking – the repetition of acts intruding into one person’s life which increase in intensity over time – remains a neglected phenomenon, whereas it affects about 10% of the population in Europe, mainly women, and it can have dramatic consequences and lead to further violence, including murder. She also notes that cyberstalking – the persistent and threatening intrusion online – is increasing with the development of new technologies.

The draft resolution adopted by the committee proposes a raft of measures to raise awareness on this phenomenon amongst legislators, police and the general public (including at school) and develop support services for victims, such as helplines.