The world's first stalking clinic opened in London Thursday. The National Stalking Center will operate out of the Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, North London and treat offenders, instead of punishing them, reports the Independent.
While stalkers normally face restraining orders or other legal consequences, courts in England and Wales can send offenders for assessment, treatment and rehabilitation, according to a report from the BBC.
Some experts believe the move will help prevent violent crime and reduce costs at a time when the U.K. is experiencing a rise in stalking behavior. According to government figures, one in five women and one in 10 men over 16-years-old are or have been stalking victims.
According to a study cited by the Independent, three in four women killed by their former partners had been stalked beforehand.
At a domestic violence conference in September, law enforcement officials highlighted a recent study looking at the increasing use of technology in stalking cases.
The findings showed most victims are between the ages of 18 and 24, and that victims are increasingly being targeted either online or via cell phones.
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more