SDLP MP Mark Durkan says nearly half of all people murdered in their own homes had been stalked before they were killed and is calling on victims in his own constituency to report incidents to a national helpline.
He made the call during National Stalking Awareness Week.
He said stalking will affect one in five women and one in ten men in their lifetimes, and of all domestic homicides 40 per cent of the victims were stalked prior to death.
Mr Durkan joined Suzy Lamplugh Trust at Westminster to show his concern and support for survivors of stalking.
The event was held as part of their campaign to increase the maximum sentence for stalking from five to ten years’ imprisonment.
He said: “Stalking matters, and I hope that events such as this will help to raise awareness of the genuine threat posed by stalking behaviours.
“I have therefore pledged my support for survivors to show I stand with them and that they are not alone.”
Rachel Griffin, Director of Suzy Lamplugh Trust, said: “Stalking is a hidden crime in our community. There are very few stalking-specific support services and those that are available are stretched to their limits.
“Stalking has a devastating impact on the life of the victim and their loved ones. There needs to be more support for victims so that they can be safer and feel safer.”
If you have been affected by stalking, please call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 for advice and support.