The rules surrounding Domestic Violence and Abuse have recently changed to allow people to request the police to check their partner’s previous history of Domestic Violence or violent acts.
This is known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme or “Clare’s Law”, which is named after Claire Wood, who was strangled by her boyfriend, George Appleton and set on fire at her home in Salford, in February 2009. The couple had met on the internet and Mr Appleton had a record of violence against women.
The checks also stretch to anyone who is worried about someone they know who is in a potentially abusive relationship and believe they are at risk of domestic violence and/or abuse.
The checks allow the police to look through the person’s criminal history/records and if they have reason to believe this person is a risk due to offences they may have committed or other information arising from their system, they can consider disclosing such background information to the potential victim. The victim can then make their own choice as to whether to continue in the relationship or not.
More information and advice can be found on the Cheshire Police website: http://www.cheshire.police.uk/advice--information/domestic-abuse/domestic-violence-disclosure.aspx
This also coincides with a further change and introduction of Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs), which help and provide support for victims who have been subjected to incidents of Domestic Violence and Abuse. They have been implemented from the 8th March 2014. DVPOs can last for up to 28 days, during which time an offender can be prevented from having contact with the victim and/or returning to the home where they have both lived.
This is designed to be a “filler”, which provides immediate protection to the victim so it gives them enough time to think about their options and what to do next. We would advise the victim should always seek legal assistance from a solicitor to see what more permanent measures can be taken against an offender. For more information on this and generally in relation to Domestic Violence and Abuse, please consult the police website or visit: https://www.gov.uk/domestic-violence-and-abuse
If you believe you are a victim of Domestic Violence and/or Abuse and want to know your options in terms of protecting yourself, your children and your home then please call our Office on 01606 48777 to make an appointment to see one of our highly trained solicitors. We also offer public funding for those on limited means subject to meeting the criteria.
If you are unable to make an appointment to see us during the day, then we do offer a free drop in legal advice clinic each Tuesday from 8am-9am and 5pm-6pm and each Thursday from 5pm-6pm.