'Clare's Law': Father calls for roll-out across UK

Clare Wood Clare Wood was murdered by her former partner in Salford in 2009

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The father of a woman killed by her ex-partner has said thousands of women could be saved from violent partners if a scheme in her name is expanded.

The trial, nicknamed Clare's Law, allows people to find out whether their partner has a violent or abusive past.

It is being used until September by police forces in Greater Manchester, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire and Gwent.

Clare Wood from Salford was murdered in 2009. She had complained to police about George Appleton before her death.

Michael Brown said the trial of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) so far proved there was a "demand for it".

He said: "It would give them the information so they could make an objective decision of whether to stay or go.

'Clare's Law' pilot figures:

  • Greater Manchester Police: 90 applications for a disclosure made. Police granted 53 disclosures.
  • Gwent Police: 39 applications for a disclosure made. Police granted 8 disclosures.
  • Nottinghamshire Police: 53 applications for disclosure made. Police granted 5 disclosures.
  • Wiltshire Police: 102 applications for disclosure made. Police granted 15 disclosures.

"If you knew you were going to be in trouble with a man who has a history of domestic violence, I don't think you would be staying with him that long - you're not only putting yourself in danger but you're putting those around you, especially children in danger."

He added: "At present the trial is only being used in four counties, but in those counties we are having anything up to 100 applications so far.

"If you multiply that by the number of police forces in England and Wales that's somewhere in the region of 4,300 people a year being helped."

'Confirmed doubts'

Ms Wood, a mother-of-one, had met Appleton on Facebook. She was unaware of his history of violence against women including repeated harassment, threats and the knifepoint kidnapping of another ex-girlfriend.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said 65 people had applied for a disclosure about a boyfriend or an individual who was in a relationship with someone they knew.

A further 25 applications were submitted by agencies where it was felt someone might be at risk.

Of these, police granted 53 disclosures, while in other cases the partner did not have a record of violent offences or there was no information that a risk was present.

"Anne", who has used Clare's Law, said: "I kind of expected the disclosure to dispel any doubts I had about the guy, but in fact it just confirmed all my doubts about him. I would have been looking at a serious hospital visit I think if he had of lost his temper with me at some point.

"I did manage to speak to one of his ex-partners - she tracked me down on a social media website and I found out the incident with her was violent. I definitely had a lucky escape."

'Coercive control'

Policing minister Damian Green said: "Because this is such an important issue we guaranteed nearly £40m to help fund support services over domestic sexual violence until 2015, so even in an age where we are having to make necessary cuts, actually we are protecting those frontline services.

"Not only have we introduced the pilot of Clare's Law, we are opening new rape crisis centres and we are protecting the budget of the general support services."

But Polly Neate, chief executive of Women's Aid, said Clare's Law was not a solution to the overall issue.

She said: "The most common time for a woman to be subjected to very serious violence or murdered is just when she is leaving the relationship or when she has just left.

"The other issue is that many perpetrators of domestic violence do not have a previous conviction, so a woman might find out that her partner does not have a previous conviction but that doesn't always mean he isn't dangerous.

"The most important thing is to spread awareness of the early signs of domestic violence which we often mistake for excessive affection or romantic attitudes, which actually are the beginnings of coercive control."


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  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Next you need to go and find out about just how these rows start example wife takes off to the United states and doesent bother to let other parent know Any idea what that parent goes through Or it shacks up with every tom dick and harry TRUE !! and the problems that causes never mind the X or the lunatic it takes on bourd or it decides to set you up and make you look stupid Also normal

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    Then you need to find out how they can take control of your phones initiate a call ,send text message ,send email ,send picture message so its looks just like you have made the call yourselves Very easy this is Its known as a set up another reason why you cant do this bluettoth IRDA and its called a stupid stuffing parent, X , trouble making child You dont know too much about that either

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    When you give an app access to your public profile, the app receives: Your name, user id, username, profile picture, gender and network in order to identify you.
    Go and check it out thats if you know anything at all about PC's which obviously you dont before you come out with these great ideas you have

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    Before you can do anything at all clean up trouble spot number one FaceBook where your teenage daughters and your sons and others seek well not quite sure Are you anymore ? but its trouble
    AYI would like to access your public profile, friend list, email address, birthday, hometown, interests, current city, Photos, religious and political views, personal description and likes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    Additionally, all claims of domestic violence are kept on file, whether proven or disproven, false or genuine claim.

    I can think of no better way for a vengeful ex partner (male or female) to exact "punishment" on their ex than to make a malicious claim of DV, drop the claim before they get found out and scupper the other parties chances of ever dating again

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Such a shame that the article only portrays women as victims when the the truth is that 40% of domestic violence victims are men.

    This means that both sexes need to check out their potential partners history.

    Whilst I appreciate the sentiment behind it this seems like another step towards an Orwellian dystopian society where we have to apply for a license to date someone

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.



    The above may have been a well-intentioned scheme to protect either gender from the risk of future harm. However, what invariably happens next is the hijacking of such initiatives by the feminist controlled "Abuse Industry" who then re-brands it to promote their own sexist narrative about abuse. It replaces fact with fiction and outright deception! It is merely a brand

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    The BBC continues to present DV as a gendered issue, It is not.

    If you really care about ending violence then care about ending it for all people irrespective of gender, sexuality, or race.

    Soon as you pick a group to protect first you have lost the argument for equality.

    Time for unbiased reporting, then we might be able to end violence against all victims, not just those you judge worthy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    This case highlights the dangers of displaying personal details and information on Facebook and other social media. Ms Law was targeted by her murderer through Facebook. There are thousands of predators who use social media to reach their victims, to commit a wide range of crimes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    Internet censorship, special snooping laws for women . .

    This country is a feminist nightmare.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    It is ommadawn2000 you correct and it will bring about untold voilance t Thats why we have laws and thats why we have officials who decide on those laws and sit on a jury and decide wether a party is innoncent or not innocent laws to protect both convicted and innocent so that we discourage vigilante style behavoiur Also massive enquiries into police tactics in relation to this inclusive public

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Doesent make any difference taciturne its up to a court of law to decide not you !! Hard lines thats life Ive been attacked many a time there is also nothing I can do At the moment Im instigating a legal enquiry into private security where it is known that an individual has been causing trouble with rumours where persons have been subjected to violent attacks They in for a big shock

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    It looks like a recipe for disaster to me. Surely it would be better to improve education around domestic violence and then to significantly improve the response of the authorities when the first complaint of abuse is made?

    Also the process must be evenhanded providing protection to men as well as women if they need it, and including same sex relationships.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    Most domestic violance is born out of drink and drug related offences , even mental health problems more often than not its a combination of many problems which you as women or the general public have no duristriction over Its up to the authorities to investigate publish or not publish and for a court of law to decide not you So if you going to be aware of the implications could be quite nasty !!

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Why the general assumption that DV is a 'chav' crime? Clarissa Dickson Wright's mother suffered - but her head was bashed against a marble mantelpiece, and she was hit with an ormolu poker. Her husband's social standing made it more difficult for her to be believed.
    DV, primarily men on women, is everywhere in society.

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    This law should be voluntary for the partner. If they refuse, then you know there's something to hide."

    In that case, it doesn't sound so very "voluntary" after all, does it?

    Bit like compulsory donations, for example.....

    Also, the automatic assumption that they have "something to hide" sounds just a teeny bit like prejudging the case to me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    Very easy for other people to instigate an attack on someone who may well be innocent with your poposals So i dont think you are going to get to far with this one Very risky and very stupid also very irresponsible and extremely dangerous Could even have you classified as a danger to the community under your proposals There are violent women as well another valid reason

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    Ever noticed how news reports invariably describe male law-breakers as 'evil' or 'manipulative', while female law-breakers (for the same crime) are 'vulnerable'? Gender equality soon, please!

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    "The most important thing is to spread awareness of the early signs of domestic violence which we often mistake for excessive affection or romantic attitudes, which actually are the beginnings of coercive control." Polly Neate.

    Watch out boys, that meal you have ready on the table for when your partner gets home and that surprise romantic break to Paris might just brand you as a woman beater!


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