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New scheme lifts lid on partner’s abusive past in Uttoxeter

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: March 07, 2014

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A NEW scheme giving people the right to ask about their partner’s previous history of domestic abuse or violence is being rolled out in Uttoxeter.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as Clare’s Law, has been piloted by four forces and from tomorrow it will be available to people living in Staffordshire.

A disclosure about someone’s previous domestic abuse offending is aimed at preventing and protecting potential victims.

It will help people make a more informed decision on whether to continue a relationship and provides further support to assist people making that choice.

The scheme is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton at her Salford home in February 2009. She was unaware of his domestic abuse history with other women.

Following her death her family campaigned for a change in the law to support actual, and potential, victims of domestic violence.

Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Mike Cunningham said: “Domestic abuse shatters lives. It can not only affect the victim but any children living with them and the wider family.

“Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off and tends to escalate in frequency and severity over time. Victims often blame themselves and can make excuses about the offender’s behaviour.

“This new scheme allows people the choice to get out of a potential abusive situation.

“Staffordshire Police takes every reported incident of domestic abuse extremely seriously. We are determined to ensure that victims, and those affected by abuse, are supported and safeguarded and that offenders face the consequences of their actions.

“This initiative can help people who are concerned about this type of crime to feel reassured that they don’t have to suffer and help is available.”

A panel, made up of police, probation services and other agencies, will check requests to ensure information passed on is lawful, proportionate and necessary.

People with concerns about being harmed by their partner can make an application by ringing 101. The scheme also allows a third party to apply if they have concerns about someone’s welfare. A third party would not directly be told but the person at risk would be.

More information is available at www.staffordshire.police.uk/info_advice/victims/domestic_abuse/clares_law

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