A support organisation for the victims of stalking has been launched by Baroness Brinton.

Paladin advocates for tougher restraining orders to help the 120,000 people who are victims of stalking every year.

Harry Fletcher, the organisation's co-director, said more effective measures were needed to tackle the issue.

"Restraining orders must be strengthened and there needs to be a thorough review of the family courts to prevent perpetrators from making vexatious applications for contact with their children when there is no hope of it being granted," he said.

The group has also called for improved training for criminal justice professionals on the issue.

A survey of stalking victims found 65% who contacted the police said they were dissatisfied with the response. Nearly 80% of victims said the CPS was not involved in their case, and of those incidents where the CPS was involved, over 75% were not satisfied with the response, according to Paladin.

'Hunting humans'

Laura Richards, Paladin's other director and author of The Victim's Voice, told Sky News: "A lot of people use the term "stalking" as a joke.

"But it's very similar to animals that hunt.

"It's about poaching, prowling, following - it's intrusive behaviour that engenders fear in another person - in other words, hunting humans."

Alison Hewitt, who attended the launch at the House of Commons, was herself a victim.

"I was stalked by an ex-partner who just wouldn't accept that the relationship was over," she told Sky News.

"It started with the usual - lots of love letters, telephone calls, texts and emails and then it escalated to extreme violence which ended up with him setting fire to my parents' home.

"They had to be airlifted to a place of safety.

"And, when he was caught in the hospital grounds where I was due to work, they found a van with weapons there.

"So I'm very lucky to be alive."

The calls for reform came after a series of cases involving stalkers who went on to kill, including Clifford Mills, 49, who stalked his ex-girlfriend Lorna Smith on Facebook before stabbing her to death at his flat in Brixton, south London, in February 2011.

He was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 21 years, after being found guilty of murder.