Stalking and domestic abuse targeted with £320,000 funding boost after young woman's tragic death

More than £320,000 will be spent tackling stalking and domestic abuse in South Yorkshire, it has been announced.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 11:54 am
Updated Friday, 13th August 2021, 12:35 pm

The major funding boost comes just weeks after 23-year-old Gracie Spinks was found dead, with 35-year-old Sheffield man Michael Sellers who had reportedly been stalking her believed by police to have killed her before taking his own life.

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said he had secured £321,228 funding from the Home Office to develop a targeted offender programme for perpetrators of domestic abuse, especially stalking, teen-on-teen and teen-on-parent crimes.

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South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings said the money would help support stalking victims and target those at risk of offending

The domestic abuse perpetrator programme will assist in providing alternative outcomes for offenders and improve victim support and satisfaction, he claimed.

Dr Billings said: “During the time of lockdown and restriction we were rightly very concerned about the victims of domestic abuse. I was able to offer substantial additional funding for those in the voluntary sector who give help and assistance to victims.

“I also gave help to those who assist victims of sexual abuse, whether their abusers were known to them or strangers.

“But we realise that the problem that needs addressing is male behaviour. We have to support those who realise they have an issue before that becomes a matter of criminal behaviour. This project does that.

“It will also address the issue of children’s behaviour. We need to intervene early to stop children thinking that forms of inappropriate behaviour that they may be showing are the norm.”

Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition launched in the wake of Ms Spinks’ death to ensure better protection for stalking victims.