From Iceland – Starking can soon be punishable by up to four years in prison

From Iceland - Starking can soon be punishable by up to four years in prison

Those convicted of stalking can face up to four years in prison if a bill from Áslaug Árna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, the Minister of Justice, becomes law. Fréttablaðið reports. The bill is welcomed by the staff of the women’s shelter and the police.

As things stand now, Icelandic law is sorely lacking when it comes to making stalking a punishable offense. There is a restraining order, but the police have long expressed frustration over the use of this limited preventive measure as the restraining order is not always followed. Furthermore, it can be very difficult to get a restraining order in the first place.

In Iceland, the vast majority of stalking victims are women, and about 65 women sought refuge in the Women’s Shelter because of being stalked, usually by an ex-spouse or ex-boyfriend, which is 16% of the total number of women who went to shelter. Sigþrúður Guðmundsdóttir, the shelter’s director, told reporters that stalkers would try to harass their victims both online and in person, and in some cases force these women to quit their jobs or even leave the country.

“It may sound harmless to receive a message from time to time or see [the stalker] every now and then, “she said. “En [stalking] is done for the purpose of inciting fear, often after a violent relationship. Their presence is a reminder that he still has power over these women. “

If this bill becomes law – and it is a government bill from the government minister, it is likely to be passed – stalkers could finally face real, legal consequences for their actions.

Source: The Nordic Page




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