Date: 13th March 2014
This week Clare’s Law was rolled out across the country giving police the right to disclose details of an abusive partner’s past.
Clare’s Law is named after Clare Wood, who was brutally murdered five years ago by her former partner, George Appleton, who had a record of violence against women. Clare’s Law is officially called the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.
The scheme is designed to provide victims with information that could protect them from an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy. It allows the police to disclose information about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence or violent acts.
Clare’s Law is being rolled out alongside Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs), which allow police and Magistrates’ courts to provide protection to victims in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident.
DVPOs can be used to provide immediate protection to a victim where there is not enough evidence to charge an alleged perpetrator. They also provide protection to victims via bail conditions. A DVPO can last for up to 28 days, during which time the perpetrator can be prevented from having contact with the victim.
Domestic abuse destroys lives and these Government initiatives give police and local authorities the tools they need to keep victims of domestic violence safe.
The roll-out of this important scheme follows a 14 month pilot scheme in 4 police force areas, which provided more than 100 people with potentially life-saving information.
I hope that extending this scheme to all of England and Wales will mean more people are saved from potentially life-threatening situations.