Dozens of women use new law to check partner's past

Dozens of women in Greater Manchester have come forward to use Clare's Law to discover if they are at risk of domestic violence from a partner. It was piloted 9 months ago after the murder of Clare Wood, in Salford, by her ex-boyfriend.

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Clare's Law - protecting women from domestic violence

Dozens of women have come forward to ask for information about potentially violent partners.

Almost a hundred men have already been checked under Clare's Law, which is being trialled in Greater Manchester. In more than half of those cases, the men were found to be a potential risk.

It follows a campaign by the family of Clare Wood, who was murdered by a man who had a history of violence towards women.

Our Correspondent Ashley Derricott reports.

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Need advice on escaping domestic abuse?

No-one should suffer domestic abuse Credit: PA

As police reveal the number of women who have used Clare's Law to check the history of partners they fear to be violent - there are many people who still need help.

If you want advice on escaping an abusive relationship go to endthefear.co.uk or call the Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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Police: Clare's Law is 'real evidence' we've listened

Detective Superintendent Phil Owen of Greater Manchester Police said he is "very pleased" with the results of the Clare's Law scheme.

Speaking to Daybreak he said: "It's really important that we do learn those lessons.

"The domestic violence disclosure scheme I think is real evidence that we've listened to Clare's father, we've listened too various different organisations and from September last year we've given disclosure in over 50 cases."

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Labour MP pleased with domestic abuse law results

Hazel Blears, the Labour MP for Salford and Eccles said she campaigned for Clare's Law because it could have "empowered [Clare] to end the relationship at an early stage".

Today Greater Manchester Police said a number of women had taken advantage of the scheme in its first year.

Michael Brown, the father of murdered Clare Wood with Labour MP Hazel Blears last year Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Ms Blears said: "I'm told that women in Salford who have used the scheme have been glad they did - and I am pleased to see more is being done to publicise it.

"If that results in more women knowing they can use Clare's Law to reduce the risk of becoming long-term victims of domestic abuse then it will have been well worthwhile."

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National

Women use new law to check on domestic abuse risk

Women in Manchester have made use of Clare's Law to check if they are at risk of domestic violence from a partner, police have announced.

Introduced last September, the year-long pilot scheme was introduced in Greater Manchester, Gwent, Wiltshire and Nottingham.

Women make use of abuse law in pilot scheme Credit: Johnny Green/PA Archive

The Law was named after Clare Wood, 36, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton at her home in Salford in February 2009.

The mother-of-one had met him on Facebook, unaware of his history of violence against women including the knifepoint kidnapping of another ex-girlfriend.

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More than 50 disclosures granted on domestic abuse

Sixty five people have applied for a disclosure about a boyfriend or an individual who was in a relationship with someone they knew, Greater Manchester Police said.

  • A further 25 applications were submitted by agencies where it was felt somebody might be at risk
  • Fifty three disclosures were granted on application
  • In other cases the partner did not have a record of violent offences, or there was no information that a risk was present
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Police 'welcome' any initiative to protect abuse victims

Detective Superintendent Phil Owen from Greater Manchester Police's Public Protection Division has welcomed "any initiative that helps to protect victims of domestic abuse" to prevent further crime.

However, for an area as large and diverse as Greater Manchester we would have liked to have seen a greater take up either from those in a relationship or from friends, relatives or neighbours concerned about the possible risk posed to somebody they care about.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare's Law) is a preventative measure and enables potential victims to take control of their life and make an informed decision about whether to stay with somebody or not. It may be that somebody is in a relationship but isn't happy about some of the behaviour of their partner. If warning bells are ringing, then these are the types of people we want to hear from.

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