With the recent introduction of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme this month, more commonly known as Clare’s Law, it is now possible for a person to make enquiries of the police to find out if their partner/potential partner has a history of domestic violence or violent offences. This introduction follows successful pilot schemes in Nottingham, Wiltshire, Manchester and Gwent since 2012.
Further powers to protect victims of domestic violence have also come into place with the introduction of Clare’s Law. These include Domestic Violence Protection Orders which can prevent the perpetrator of domestic violence contacting the victim or returning to the property for a period of 28 days following a domestic violence incident. The fact that this can be implemented immediately by the police can provide a valuable immediate answer to the obvious safety issues involved.
It is hoped that being able to enquire about a partner’s past will enable people to make informed decisions about the risk involved if they continue a relationship.
This won’t provide protection against perpetrators who have not previously come to the attention of the police but will provide either re-assurance or a clear warning for those who may feel at risk – provided they ask the question.
With latest figures showing over 100 people each year are killed by their partner or ex partner, the scheme can only be viewed as a positive step.