If a current trial in Wiltshire is successful, the time may well be fast approaching when both men and women will be able to make enquiries via the police to find out if their girlfriend/boyfriend has a history of violence against previous partners.
Sadly, it is all too common that as family law practitioners, we speak to clients who are in relationships with violent individuals. Often this violence is directed at the partner themselves, but even more worrying is the high percentage of clients who report that this violence has taken place in front of their children. The negative impact of witnessing violence on impressionable young minds is of course well researched and documented.
There are numerous schemes available to assist individuals who have been the victim of domestic violence, to help them rebuild their lives and move onwards after such a destructive relationship. However, there can be no doubt that enabling a person to access the relevant information about a new partner at the earliest opportunity and to make an informed choice about continuing such a relationship, can only be a good thing for the entire family unit in the long run.