24,263 Belgians report stalking

5th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

Last year 24,263 Belgians reported incidents of stalking to the police

Last year 24,263 Belgians reported incidents of stalking to the police. This number is almost five times more than in 2000. In 25 percent to 33 percent of the reported cases the stalker used violence.

“It is now definite that women are more often the victims than men,” says criminologist Anne Groenen of the University of  Louvain.

Menacing or stalking – the systematic bothering of a person- has been prohibited in this country since 1998. A stalker can be prosecuted after just one complaint, which is not the case in other countries. Last year the police registered 24,263 stalking incidents. In 2000 this figure was just under 5,000.

“It is mainly (ex-)partners who register complaints” says says criminologist Anne Groenen of the University of  Leuven, who analysed 400 stalker files of the federal police and the public prosecutor. “ These complaints are really effective. After such a complaint most stalkers leave their victims alone.

A new French survey clearly shows that women are more often the victims. “This survey compiles all 175 previous studies on stalking. Conclusion: after a failed relationship, men have more often the urge to go on seeing their ex-partner”.

One stalker in four makes use of a GSM or land line. “ This number is increasing fast. Just like the number of e-mails. Love-letters and gifts, on the contrary, are disappearing.”

Stalkers are becoming more and more violent. In a quarter to a third of the cases, the victim is physically menaced.

5 September 2007

[Copyright Expatica 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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