Wednesday, December 2

SWWS applauds govt’s move to look into making stalking a crime

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KUCHING: Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS) applauds the move by the government to look into making stalking a crime.

According to SWWS currently, there are no laws on anti-stalking in Malaysia.

“In the absence of any relevant anti-stalking law, victims of stalking have no avenue to turn to gain protection,” it said in a press statement today.

SWWS was responding to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong’s recent statement that the government is looking into the possibility of enacting anti-stalking laws in the country.

SWWS said victims of stalking usually have no choice but to just wait and see if the act of stalking escalates further into the criminal act of causing physical harm.

“If it does then the police can take action however it is too late as the fear evoked by the stalker has been realised.  When there is legislation against stalking physical harm can be prevented and psychological stress reduced.”

SWWS noted that survivors of domestic violence fear being stalked by their ex-partners so tougher laws would help them be free of their abusers.

“Stalking can cause a detrimental effect on the victims’ mental and emotional health and this can be as damaging as physical violence.”

Furthermore, SWWS said the act of stalking, if not prevented or curbed is likely to lead to sexual harassment as shown by complaints received from the victims of such harassment.

SWWS therefore welcomed the government’s review and recommends any proposed legislation also covers the act of stalking within the cyber realm.