CORK woman Una Ring says more than 550 people have signed up for a webinar organised by her and another woman who have launched a campaign seeking a specific law for stalking.
On February 4, her stalker, 52-year-old James Steele from Rosscarbery, was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to harassment, criminal damage, and attempted trespass with the intent to commit rape at Ms Ring’s home in Youghal between February 14, 2020, and July 27, 2020.
She has come together with Eve McDowell from Sligo, who was also a victim of stalking, and the Cork Sexual Violence Centre, to launch a campaign seeking specific legislation for stalking.
On Thursday evening at 7pm, she and Eve will speak at a webinar exploring the problem of stalking in Ireland and the legislation required to tackle it.
Also speaking will be Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly; director of research at the Law Reform Commission, Rebecca Coen; UCC lecturer and chairperson of the Cork Sexual Violence Centre, Catherine O’Sullivan, and chief executive of the Cork Sexual Violence Centre, Mary Crilly.
Ms Ring said: “We have over 550 people signed up for it. Hopefully it will make a difference.”
She said the initial aim she and Ms McDowell had was to set up a website to help others going through similar situations as they did, followed by the webinar.
But she said: “Our main aim is to get the legislation changed and make stalking an offence in its own right.”
They have also set up a petition calling for a change in the law.
Registration for the webinar can be done at www.stalking.ie/webinar.
The petition can be signed at https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/legislation-for-stalking-in-ireland-now.