Do find time to read my letter which appears in The New Paper today, on page 20, as well as my footnote which is at the bottom of my press letter.
Raymond Anthony Fernando
It is troubling to read of increasing cases of stalking in which the women, who are often the victims, feel helpless, as described in the report “When love turns into an obsession” (The New Paper; Oct 17).
While love may be a many splendored thing, it can turn really ugly when relationships fail and one party becomes vengeful and vindictive.
As mentioned in the report, the Association of Women for Action and Research has received 150 cases of harassment this year alone, and if more is not done to deter stalkers from frightening and bullying women, I fear the number will keep going up.
And these are only the reported cases. There are many others that go unreported.
I commend Ann, the young woman whose experience was highlighted in the report, and The New Paper, for raising awareness of this social problem.
It is costly and cumbersome for victims of stalking and harassment to hire lawyers to deal with the issue.
Why put more stress on the victims when they are already going through so much anxiety?
It will be much better if the police are empowered to act more decisively against stalkers.
If there is enough evidence from the victims of being harassed or stalked, the police should interview the alleged stalker and caution him.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO
Footnote: We need to arrest this problem decisively and swiftly otherwise our limited resources will be overstretched and that includes the increased load at the courts, at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) where the healthcare professionals will end up seeing more cases of depression and other mental health disorders with families of victims struggling to cope. The number of persons suffering from mental disorders is high. Do we want that figure to go up?
Added to this, the social services will also see an increased load. It is a vicious cycle. If you ask me, MSF and its partners could help by providing free counselling services for these victims & even their immediate families.
With the Government’s untiring efforts to get couples to marry and reproduce themselves, such incidents left unchecked is going to deter young people to embrace marriage. Think about it.
At the end of the day, let us show empathy and compassion to those who are struggling to cope and that will make us a gracious & a truly inclusive society.