A YORK woman who was stalked by her ex-partner has appealed for more support for victims.

Anna Hemmingfield lived in Bishopthorpe when her ex-partner staked out her home, abused her by text and online, and one night followed her new partner 30 miles, before arguing with him in a car park.

Anna said her ex-partner’s appeal against a sentence passed by magistrates – a two-year suspended sentence, along with community work and a restraining order – left her feeling in limbo.

She said: “That took a year to get to court, so for a year I was in lockdown, almost like my life wasn’t my own. He didn’t have to do any of his sentence.

“It’s not fair how a defendant has so many rights and the victim doesn’t. Victim treatment isn’t good enough, there’s nowhere to go when a case is finished. It’s so barren and lonely. there needs to be better rights and we should have the right to appeal.”

Anna contacted the Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS), following the initial offences, and one of their representatives was with her during one incident of abuse over the phone.

She encouraged anyone concerned about being in a controlling relationship or who has experienced harassment or stalking to contact the organisation, even if they do not want to go to the police.

Anna said: “It’s so scary being in a relationship like that. You lose self-worth when you see all these things on the internet about you, written by this guy.

York Press:

“IDAS are amazing, they were the first people that helped and recognised what I was going through, they’ve been such a support.”

Anna has appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show, with Voices 4 Victims founder Claire Waxman, ahead of an event at Parliament where they spoke to MPs and peers about the problems faced by victims of stalking and harassment.

The Ministry of Justice said the Victims’ Code entitled victims to support from a range of organisations.

“But there is always more we can do to better protect victims and we will announce our plans in due course”.

lIf you want to contact IDAS, phone 03000 110 110 or go to idas.org.uk