Paladin was launched in 2013 after our Founder Laura Richards and other changed the law to create a specific criminal offence of stalking.
This also highlighted the need for a service to assist anyone victimised by stalking. Paladin is the only advocacy service for stalking victims in the world and we are approached by agencies from all over the world seeking to learn from our bespoke service.
Laura developed the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour based Violence Risk Checklist (DASH 2009) on behalf of ACPO and in partnership with Safe Lives (formerly Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA)) to inform early identification, intervention and prevention. This tool is now used by thousands of professionals on a daily basis to help them deal effectively with victims of stalking, domestic abuse and honour based violence.
Laura left New Scotland Yard in 2007 to take up the role of advising ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) after a decade of working on violent crime, having previously created and headed up the Homicide Prevention Unit. Trained by world leaders as a criminal behavioural analyst at the Behavioural Analysis Unit, National Centre for the Analysis of Violent Crime at the FBI and New Scotland Yard, Laura has applied her psychology degrees to analyse violent crime from a behavioural and preventative perspective.
Alongside two leading police officers, Laura co-authored the book entitled ‘Policing Domestic Violence’ published by Oxford University Press. Laura is a Reader of Domestic Violence Homicide Reviews on behalf of the Home Office and was instrumental in changing the law in 2015 to create a criminal offence of coercive control for victims of non-physical domestic abuse. We are proud that our service and stalking victims have the benefit of Laura’s expertise which shapes the direction of the service and fearlessly challenges the Criminal Justice System around their shortcomings in relation to stalking.
Paladin is the voice of the victim within the criminal and civil justice system, as many they feel isolated and terrified. Some pay with their lives. Paladin provides a high level of advocacy to anyone at risk of serious harm or homicide from a stalker. ‘We give initial advice and offer to complete a detailed assessment to anyone who calls our service and is affected by stalking. Sometimes we call this ‘high risk’ and it is based on what we learn from the detailed assessment. However in all situations we aim to improve access to the right kind of support for each person and improve co-ordinated working between specialist services to keep each survivor feeling safer.
We have an ever increasing network of ISACs across the England and Wales to assist stalking victims locally and a number of affiliated specialist support services including Aurora New Dawn
Our CEO is Catherine Skinner and the Board are made up of experienced and award winning professionals including our Chair Rachel Horman who is a solicitor, Allan Aubeelack former police officer, Shonagh Dillon CEO of Aurora New Dawn, Dr Eleanor Aston, Zoe Dronfield and Baroness Jan Royall. Our patron is philanthropist and prison reformer Lady Edwina Grosvenor.
We also have a number of ambassadors who support our service including John and Penny Clough, Dr Alison Hewitt and Sam Taylor
We are delighted that Lady Edwina Grosvenor, the second daughter of the 6th Duke of Westminster and fervent campaigner against injustice, has agreed to be patron of Paladin, the National Stalking Advocacy Service. She supported the stalking law reform campaign, attended the launch in the House of Lords in July 2013 and gave a key note address at Paladin’s first anniversary event in 2014.
Commenting on her patronage, Lady Edwina Grosvenor said: “Stalking is a complex crime with often a toxic aftermath. For too long stalking has been a huge problem in British society. Changes in the way we lived, socialised and worked meant that stalking increased dramatically and outstripped the powers that the police had to deal with it. Paladin changed that and has run a highly successful campaign to change attitudes as well as bringing legislation into line with our modern world.
Paladin is a great force for good and it is a great honour to be a patron”.