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Clare's Law to protect domestic violence victims

Hampshire Police have revealed a successful start for a new law that allows the public to uncover information on their partner's domestic violence history.

Clare's Law was developed after the death of Clare Wood - who was murdered by her former boyfriend in 2009.

Also known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, it gives the public a formal ways t request information about their partner's past.

If they have a history of violence, the police can disclose information in order to protect people at risk.

Since it was introduced last month, Hampshire Police have received 16 requests for information and this has seen five disclosures to potential victims.

Three potential victims even chose not to continue with the relationship after meeting with police.

At the heart of the scheme is our commitment to improving our ability to identify and protect people who are most vulnerable to a significant risk of domestic abuse. In doing so, we are then able to work with our partners to ensure that person is protected from any further abuse, prevent crime and reduce reoffending. By disclosing information, the scheme aims to give people at risk, their friends, family or carers, for example, the ability to make an informed choice on whether to continue the relationship and provide support whatever the decision."

– Ben Snuggs, Superintendent at Hampshire Police

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  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

Reaching out to domestic abuse victims

Sussex Police says it's receiving at least 40 new calls a day from victims of domestic abuse, but that there are more people out there, suffering in silence.

Now, the force has launched a White Ribbon Campaign to highlight the issue. Sarah Saunders has been speaking to one victim who found the courage to speak out. If you are affected by domestic abuse click here for help and information.

"Don't suffer in silence"

Nearly a million women every year experience domestic violence. And Sussex Police receive a staggering 40 calls about domestic abuse every single day.

But they still believe women are suffering in silence and this week they have launched a White Ribbon Campaign encouraging more women to come forward. Heather Holden from Eastbourne was attacked by her husband.

Detective Constable Jamie Pooley from Sussex Police says specialist officers are ready to help. For help call the 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247 or visit www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk.

Help available for victims of domestic violence

An event is taking place in Maidstone today to raise awareness of the help available in Kent to protect victims of domestic violence. Several agencies and authorities will attend the event at Kent Police College.

It will coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is also supported by the Bishop of Rochester

Domestic Abuse awareness

Surrey Police are holding events across the county offering domestic abuse victims advice and support.

The theme for the week is ‘Healthy Relationships’ prompting people to choose the words that best describe their relationship.

Descriptions like controlling, dishonest or pressurised can be a sign that the relationship is less healthy and could later involve sexual or physical violence.

It is a sad fact that Surrey Police gets approximately a thousand reports a month relating to domestic abuse. That being said, I would like more people to report domestic abuse, if they are experiencing it. Domestic abuse is socially unacceptable and no one should have to experience abuse at the hands of their partner. The police’s role is to protect the lives of both adults and children who are at risk as a result of domestic abuse; and investigate all reports of domestic abuse thoroughly.”

– Jon Savell, Detective Superintendent at Surrey Police

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Domestic violence charity wins Government support

The Pemberton family Credit: ITV Meridian

A charity set up in memory of a mother and son who were shot dead at their home in Berkshire has won government backing. The 'Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse' **was established by Julia Pemberton's brother, when she and her son William were killed by her estranged husband in 2003.

The Pemberton family home Credit: ITV Meridian

You can find out about the charity by clicking here.

Domestic violence victim told she 'didn't need the police'

A victim of domestic violence who was seriously sexually assaulted was "gravely let down" after a 999 call handler from Hampshire Constabulary told her she didn't need the police. The woman called 999 in February and was transferred to a Hampshire Police control room.

Her call was abandoned, but the telephone operator said that a struggle and a man arguing could be heard. Around 15 minutes later, a control room supervisor called the woman back and told her "you don't need the police", and asked a series of 'closed' questions.

The IPCC found that intelligence checks on the woman's name, address and telephone number were not carried out - despite entries on the call log to say that they had been. If these checks had been done, they would have revealed that the woman was suffering domestic violence.

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