Maidstone Social Services team has voiced a need for increased awareness on emotional abuse in Kent following the recent death of Molly McLaren last June.
Molly McLaren, 23, was brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend Joshua Stimpson, 26, in Chatham Dockside car-park last summer.
The incident came after Joshua had spent weeks digitally stalking Molly, until he eventually followed her to Pure Gym Chatham, where the attack took place.
Molly’s story has led to many people speaking out about a need for increased awareness of emotional abuse and digital stalking.
Sharon Graham, Manager of the child service team in Maidstone said ”Psychological abuse can manifest itself in a number of ways such as small digs to complete headwork of an individual.
The affect of emotional abuse can impact a victim’s well-being, in many instances leading them to drugs or alcohol based on a feeling of being trapped.”
Sharon continued ”In terms of emotional abuse it is very hard to explain as it is not a physical feeling and therefore it is overlooked, but previous cases have demonstrated that psychological abuse is not to be ignored as it can lead to physical abuse.
I think that there does need to be an increased awareness of this type of relationship, although coercive behaviour is now a criminal offence, many people do not realise they are in an abusive relationship.
If anyone feels like they need someone to talk to they can contact the national service of domestic abuse and other programmes such as ‘Prevent’.”
Emotional Abuse UK also commented ”There is a huge need for increased awareness of emotionally abusive relationships, they can become potentially physically dangerous to the individual and the warning signs of this should be known.”