Police urge more women to take advantage of domestic violence disclosure law

Domestic abusePolice have urged women worried that their partners might be prone to domestic violence to make greater use of a disclosure scheme.

Clare’s Law allows women, or their friends and family members, to ask the local police to look into the backgrounds of men under suspicion – checking any reports by social service departments, whether the man has a criminal record or has spent time in prison.

If police find information which suggests the woman may be at risk, they can disclose the details in a confidential briefing.

Clare’s Law was named after Clare Wood, who was murdered in Salford by a former boyfriend with a history of domestic violence.

A trail of Clare’s Law was launched in July last year in four countries – Greater Manchester, Gwent, Wiltshire, and Nottinghamshire. However, according to a report in The Independent, people living in the four counties have only made around 250 requests for information. As a result the police had given 89 briefings.

Detective Superintendent Phil Owen of Greater Manchester Police said the numbers of people using the service could be higher: “We would have liked to have seen a greater take up either from those in a relationship or from friends, relatives or neighbours concerned about the possible risk posed to someone they care about. It may be that somebody is in a relationship but isn’t happy about some of the behaviour of their partner. If warning bells are ringing, then these are the types of people we want to hear from.”

Sandra Horley, chief executive of domestic violence charity Refuge, said uptake to date had been “incredibly low”.

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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5 comments

Paul - June 24, 2013 at 4:46pm

Uptake of the scheme has been incredibly low. Let’s hope it stays that way or, better still, that it kicks the dust entirely. From what I’ve seen, police hold a lot of false information anyway.

Stitchedup - October 28, 2013 at 4:33pm

I’ve just come across an internet site that has probably one of the most grounded views on relationship breakdown and domestic abuse allegations by a lady named Cathy Meyer on About.com. It would make good reading for politicians, the police and judiciary.

http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/domesticabuse/a/The-Difference-Between-Domestic-Abuse-And-Normal-Marital-Conflict.htm

I quote – “For some reason women are finding it easier to say, “I was abused,” instead of “I no longer love you” when attempting to get out of a marriage.”

Andrew - October 28, 2013 at 6:26pm

Disclosure should (1) cover convictions only (2) be only to the woman, not anyone “on her behalf” and (3) not be made till the man has been told so that he can say “She is not a friend, she is a rival for promotion at work” or “just a busybody” or “a reporter on the local rag” – or so that he can tell the enquirer “If that’s how much you trust me, we are finished”.

Stitchedup - October 29, 2013 at 12:33pm

I have two questions and, if you have time, I would appreciate your response as lawyers Andrew and Marilyn, and anybody else that feels they would like to comment:

Do you think a person found guilty of breaking an ex-parte non-mol gagging order by talking to an ex should be put in the same category as a violent wife beater??

Secondly, Do you think that a person found guilty of breaking a non-mol gagging order by talking to an ex with whom he has two children, a family home and other valuable assets, should receive a stiffer sentence than a man that has punched and knocked out a girl he has just met in a night club??

Anonymous - October 29, 2013 at 3:47pm

Stitched up , it’s about saving face. Which is preferable, admitting that you are in part a failure for not holding a marriage together, or telling everyone that he is abusive, especially now that the propaganda that men are abusive is so thoroughly disseminated. That way you also get alimony, maintenance, and the chance to start again, free of having to cooperate with someone in the child’s best interests . You didn’t understand cooperation to begin with, otherwise your marriage might have worked.

The sad thing is that everyone in the million pound industry knows the game, and they go along with it, even though the real violence being done to the children is so apparent. It’s nothing short of outrageous.

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