Rachel Horman Head of Domestic Violence and Forced Marriage at Watson Ramsbottom Solicitors welcomed the recent announcement by the government to extend the pilot of Clare’s Law nationally after a 12 months trial in Manchester. Clare’s Law allows the public to check with the police to see if their partner has a history of domestic violence and was supported by the parents of Clare Wood who was murdered by her ex- boyfriend in Salford in 2009. Clare’s parents believe that had she known about the history of her partner she may have left him earlier and may still be alive.
Rachel Horman stated however that whilst she welcomed the law it was “important to remember that the vast majority of domestic violence is still not reported to the police so there may be no police record on a very violent perpetrator. It’s important for people to realise that just because the police don’t hold any information on their partner this is no guarantee that they have not been abusive to other partners in the past.”
“My view is that once a woman is feeling the need to check their partner’s history out with the police the relationship is probably already abusive and she may feel too scared to leave even if she finds out he has a history of domestic violence. I would like to see a far more pro-active approach from the police, CPS and the courts in their treatment of domestic violence so that more women come forward to report domestic violence in the first place. Two women each week are still murdered by their partners in the UK and this figure shows no sign of decreasing so I believe that the government needs to put far more money into this problem which is estimated to cost the tax-payer £4 billion each year.”
Clare’s Law came into force on International Women’s Day 8th March 2014. You can listen to Rachel Horman discussing this on Radio Lancashire below: