Brits Will Soon Be Able To Check Their Partner's Domestic Violence History
The UK Government will formally bring forward plans to allow Brits to check their partner's domestic violence history.
The new legislation, known as Clare's Law after murder victim Clare Wood who was killed by her violent ex-boyfriend in Salford in 2009, will be published in parliament on Monday, 21st January.
Officially called the Domestic Abuse Bill, the long-delayed legislation will mean anyone can contact the police to ask for a report into their partner's history related to domestic violence. Some police forces already operate the scheme but this law would make it available nationally.
According to the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales ending in March 2018, an estimated 7.9 per cent of women (1.3 million) and 4.2 per cent of men (695,000) experienced domestic abuse.
And women were four times as likely as men to have experienced sexual assault by a partner.
Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement: "We know from the harrowing experiences of victims and their families there is more to do to stamp out this life-shattering crime.
"This Bill will bring about the changes we need to achieve this. It represents a step-change."
Following Clare Wood's murder in 2009, her family were horrified to learn that her ex-boyfriend George Appleton had a history of violence against other women.
And under the new law, the term abuse will for the first time include controlling and manipulative behaviour, and partners who block access to money.
There will also be support for children affected by domestic abuse and funding for disabled, elderly, male and LGBT victims.
According to the Met Police: "Clare's Law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them. Under Clare's Law, a member of the public can also make enquiries into the partner of a close friend or family member."
Here's how to make an application under Clare's Law:
- To make an application, you'll need to attend a police station in person where a police officer or member of police staff will take the details of what prompted your enquiry and talk you through the next steps.
- A safe means of contacting you will be established and police will carry out some initial checks to make sure there are no immediate concerns. If there are, or if you tell them a crime has taken place, they may act on them.
- You'll need to give your name, address and date of birth.
"If these reveal a record of abusive offences, or suggest a risk of violence or abuse, we'll consider sharing this information," the Met Police said in a statement. "Any disclosure will be made in person; none of the disclosure is made in writing and you won't be given any documents."
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