Every year, women in the UK are killed by stalkers and domestic abusers—despite previously reporting them to the police. Unfollow Me is a campaign highlighting the under-reported issue of stalking and domestic abuse in support of anti-stalking charity Paladin's calls to introduce a Stalkers Register in the UK. Follow all of our coverage here.
Alice Ruggles was just 24 when she died in one of the most horrific ways imaginable: her ex-boyfriend broke into her home, kicked down her bathroom door, and murdered her. After Ruggles ended her relationship with Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon in July 2016, he began a campaign of stalking and harassment that ended in her death on 12 October that year. In the months leading up to her death, Dhillon left unwanted presents on Ruggles' windowsill, sent her threatening voicemails, installed spyware on her phone, turned up at her house at night, and repeatedly attempted to contact her.
Ruggles phoned the police twice for assistance in dealing with Dhillon's frightening and predatory behavior. Northumbria Police issued Dhillon with a Police Information Notice (PIN), a harassment warning that carries no legal standing. His stalking continued to escalate with ultimately fatal consequences.
Dhillon was sentenced to life in prison in April 2017, and will serve a minimum sentence of 22 years. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has concluded its investigation into police handling of Ruggles' case, though the results have not yet been made public.
After Ruggles' death, her family learned that Dhillon had a history of stalking and abuse. They believe that she would never have entered into a relationship with him if she had known of his violent past. As a result, the family support anti-stalking charity Paladin and its campaign for a Stalkers Register to protect victims of serial stalkers and domestic abusers in the United Kingdom.
Under the proposals, women would be notified if their partners had histories of violent or predatory behavior. The police would track and monitor Individuals convicted of domestic abuse or stalking and have been identified by a court as a serial perpetrator with multiple unconnected victims. This register would only be available to police and probation services.
Broadly met with the Ruggles family to learn more about Alice's life, death, and how her death could have been avoided.
If you are being stalked and you are based in the UK, you can call Paladin on 020 3866 4107. If you are based in the US, you can call the Stalking Resource Center at the National Center for Victims of Crime on 855-484-2846.