ANY woman suffering from 'stalking' should not shut up and suffer, as help is available.

Kinglassie MSP, Jenny Gilruth visited a women’s refuge run by Fife Women’s Aid to raise awareness of National Stalking Awareness Week.

Last month the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey published figures confirming that more than one in four young women have been the victim of stalking or harassment in Scotland.

But most have not told the Police - with only 9% of cases overall being reported.

Some139 instances of stalking were reported to Police in Fife in 2017/18. Nationally since 2012, the recorded instances of stalking have more than doubled, with young women being the most prevalent victims.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament last week, Jenny Gilruth MSP, said: “Stalking ruins lives. It creates fear and alarm.

"It isolates people by causing anxiety. It is a crime. And we all have a duty as MSPs to remind the country of that message; during Stalking Awareness week and beyond.

"I am grateful to Fife Women’s Aid for allowing me to visit one of their women’s refuges in my constituency during stalking awareness week. It is vitally important that women have a safe space to escape from stalking and controlling behaviour - without organisations like Fife Women’s Aid many women would not be able to do so."

Fife Women’s Aid has become the ‘go-to’ organisation in Fife for women experiencing domestic abuse. The charity provides temporary refuge accommodation at various locations throughout Fife and the rest of Scotland.

Heather Williams, the Manager of Fife Women’s Aid, added: “We welcome Jenny’s work to highlight stalking awareness week, it’s important that we are clear that stalking is an offence and that no one should have to put up with any unwanted contact from another person regardless of whether this is carried out face to face or electronically, whether it is overtly threatening or not and whether it is someone you know doing it or a stranger.

"Support is available from Fife Women’s Aid, from the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre and from the National Stalking Helpline.”