First funding for charity supporting stalking victims
Action Against Stalking say that more than one in ten adults has been a victim of stalking.
A charity which supports victims of stalking is to receive government funding for the first time.
Action Against Stalking will use the funding to develop and provide training for services and organisations that work with victims of stalking.
The charity, which is the only stalking-specific victims service in Scotland, will receive more than £55,000 in 2019-20 to establish an office space and employ specialist staff.
More than one in ten adults experienced at least one type of stalking or harassment in 2016-17 and 2017-18 combined.
'[Stalking] can be traumatic and disruptive for those that are affected by this crime and it's important that this experience is heard, understood and taken seriously.'Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland
Being sent unwanted messages by text, email, or on social media sites was the most common type of stalking and harassment reported.
Kate Wallace, chief executive of Victim Support Scotland, said: "The commitment of funding from the Scottish Government towards supporting victims of stalking offences is hugely welcomed.
"The prevalence of stalking is more common than what people realise.
"It can also be traumatic and disruptive for those that are affected by this crime and it's important that this experience is heard, understood and taken seriously.
"Victim Support Scotland is committed to supporting victims of all crime types throughout Scotland, as well as being responsive to the changing nature of crimes."
'We are stepping up our response to stalking with the needs of victims at the heart of our approach as we tackle more and more complex cases of stalking.'Humza Yousaf, Justice Secretary
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: "Stalking can be a traumatic crime for victims and social media can be exploited by stalkers to harass and track their victims from a distance, exacerbating its complexity.
"Victims are often vulnerable and have little escape, requiring an intelligent, compassionate approach to support from across the justice system and third sector partners, which Action Against Stalking can inform and deliver.
"We are stepping up our response to stalking with the needs of victims at the heart of our approach as we tackle more and more complex cases of stalking.
"This funding will ensure Action Against Stalking's specialist support reaches more victims of stalking when they need it most."