Clare’s Law, will it help domestic violence?

Year Published: 2014

We have recently seen the introduction of Clare’s Law, a scheme which enables people to find out, from the police, whether or not their partner has any history of domestic violence. The full title of the scheme is “The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme” and it has been launched together with Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs), these are orders which can last for up to 28 days and provide immediate protection to a victim where there is not enough evidence for the alleged perpetrator to be charged. The DVPOs provide protection in the same way that bail conditions would when an alleged perpetrator has been charged.

It is of course that as a society we try to eliminate domestic violence but whether or not victims actually invoke these measures and proceed with calling the police, remains to be seen.

The question needs to be asked if a person did invoke these measures and were told what they did not want to hear, what steps will they then take? Would they end the relationship and if they did, how would they raise this issue with their partner? What if their partner has changed their name in order to get away from his chequered past, how would they decide on an action?

Domestic violence is an extremely serious issue, so often domestic violence victims find it difficult to leave their partners who have been violent to them and often blame themselves. The question to be posed is whether they can leave their partners armed with the knowledge that they have been violent to other women and yet are being a true gentleman to them. How many times do people in love say “he has changed?”

Sadly, Clare’s Law came far too late in the day for Clare Wood who was tragically killed by her former boyfriend George Appleton in 2009. Clare’s father is convinced that she would be alive today if she had known the truth of Appleton’s previous behaviour. Let’s hope that at least one life will be saved by the new scheme.

Read more on Clare Wood’s case here.

For further information or if you require any advice in respect of domestic violence you have suffered then please contact our Family team on 0161 475 7676.

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