Better sex education 'may have averted murder'

Man who stalked and killed Shana Grice might have benefited from 'quality healthy relationships education', says report

Tes Reporter

Police are investigating alleged fraud at Scotland's exams body, the Scottish Qualifications Authority

Better sex education at school might have taught a stalker who murdered his ex-girlfriend that his behaviour towards women was unacceptable, a report suggests.

Davina James-Hanman, independent chairman of the domestic homicide review into Shana Grice's death, made the comment in her findings. She questioned her murderer, Michael Lane, in prison as part of the review.

Ms James-Hanman said inquiries were made over Lane's schooling and it was likely sex education was "not a priority" when he attended school, adding: "Although highly speculative, it is possible that quality healthy relationships education may have enabled (Lane) to understand the unacceptable nature of his behaviour toward many of the women who later complained as well as (Shana)."

The report says it is "of concern" that young women and girls do not contemporaneously report their experiences of stalking and harassment, and calls on the authorities to establish why this is happening and for the "prevailing culture" in which such behaviour is "normalised or even rationalised as romance" to change.

Raising awareness about stalking

A lack of recognition of the dangers of stalking led to missed opportunities and to Ms Grice's reports not being taken seriously, while Sussex Police failed to follow procedure and policy, the report says.

There was also an "under-appreciation" of the dangers of stalking by family and friends of the pair, according to the findings.

Ms James-Hanman called for a cross-government definition of stalking to be agreed as a "matter of urgency".

Earlier this year, Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne, herself a victim of stalking, hosted a summit in Parliament to share best practice among police forces and ensure a consistent response to stalking.

The meeting prompted calls for a legal definition of stalking to improve "confusing" legislation and lay the foundations for better support for victims.

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