Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw has welcomed the second reading of the Protection Against Stalking Bill getting underway, adding the legislation is fundamentally about making people feel safe.
Speaking in the Assembly, Paula also paid tribute to the many who have shared their own personal stories, helping make a significant change that in the future no one else will have to suffer as they have.
She added: “It is essential that we recognise that this legislation must be first and foremost about protection of the victim and thank the individuals and groups – including the Suzy Lamplugh Trust alongside organisations such a Women’s Aid and Victim Support – who have continued to keep this issue in the public eye.
“We have no easy task ahead of us. The objective is not to put lots of people in prison for stalking, but to stop stalking happening.
“There are a range of measures at our disposal, including introducing Stalking Protection Orders, with their prime objective the protection of victims. While Northern Ireland might be behind the rest of the UK, it also allows us to see what has been working elsewhere and what hasn’t.
“This is another piece of significant legislation from the Justice Minister that will make a real difference to the lives of many.”