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STALKING SHOULD BE A CRIME
Photo Credit: flickr
By Muhammad Irfan
Have you or anyone you know been a victim of stalking?
Stalking is an obsessive act of constantly following and watching someone to the point that it brings fear, worry and anxiety to the person who is being stalked. According to the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), it is possible that around 250,000 domestic violence survivors in Malaysia have been stalked by their abusers, which is 26-33 percent of 900,000 women.
In most cases, the victims are women who have been stalked by their ex-partners. These stalkers would follow their victims around or show up at their homes and even workplaces. In serious occasions, the stalkers would result to injure or murder their victims.
Other acts of stalking would include making repeated phone calls or text messages, and sending unwanted emails or presents to the victims. Some stalkers would even threaten to harm their victims.
As stalking isn’t known as a crime, most victims would not lodge a police report as the police won’t be able to help protect them. As such, perpetrators are able to continue harassing their victims and cause chaos in the victims’ lives. The victims of stalking would also feel unsafe when they are at public places. Some victims would even change jobs or move house numerous times just to get away from their stalkers.
Some countries such as Japan, Singapore and Canada have passed anti-stalking laws. As such, it is important to have anti-stalking laws in Malaysia to protect victims and ensure that their stalking experiences do not escalate into violent crimes such as murder.