A ‘stalking alarm’ will allow victims of stalking to summon police immediately, according to an announcement from Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne and Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden.
Belgian police register 20,000 reports of stalking every year, which authorities say is likely “only the tip of the iceberg.”
“Many women are victims of stalking. The vast majority are stalking ex-partners, where the perpetrator is a man,” explained a press release from Verlinden and Van Quickenborne.
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“They are desperately trying to repair the broken relationship, they come to seek redress in a coercive manner or they seek revenge. Victims of stalking are often exposed to violence.”
Curbing domestic violence in Belgium
One in five women in Belgium has already experienced domestic violence, and Verlinden and Van Quickenborne say the government is “fighting on all fronts to break the spiral of sexual and partner violence.”
The new stalking alarm will allow police and emergency services to intervene immediately.
The system will first be rolled out in the provinces of East and West Flanders, then soon be available nationwide to all police zones and public prosecutors' offices that wish to use it.