Following a report into the failings of Essex Police in dealing with domestic violence the HMIC have published a series of recommendations.
A woman who was almost killed by her partner in a hammer attack has joined Merseyside Police's domestic violence campaign.
Victims of domestic violence and abuse aged 16 and 17 will be recognised as victims under Government plans.
Every woman in England and Wales is to be given the right to be told if their partner has a history of domestic violence.
In a pilot scheme - named Claire's Law - almost 400 people asked police if they held any relevant information about their partners. And, in nearly a third of those cases, they did.
ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports:
Step One: Initial contact - police take details on what prompted an enquiry and the nature of a relationship before running initial checks and a risk assessment.
Step Two: Face to face meeting - to gather more information. Police may run checks with other agencies including the prison service, the probation and social services.
Step Three: Multi agency meeting - police meet other safeguarding agencies (such as the probation service, prison service, social services). They decide whether disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate to protect a person.
Step four: Potential disclosure - if checks show a record for abusive offences or disclosure would prevent further crime, the police may disclose information to protect a potential victim.
Theresa May has said Clare's Law will provide people with the information they need to escape abusive situations before it "ends in tragedy".
The pilot scheme, named after Clare Wood who was strangled and set on fire by her boyfriend, will allow women to check police records to see if a partner has a violent background.
The Home Secretary revealed that 88 women were killed by a violent partner or ex-partner last year, and said there was "considerable confusion" about when or if police can share information on someone's violent past with the public.
"Domestic abuse shatters lives - Clare's Law provides people with the information they need to escape an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy," she told The Sun.
"The national scheme will ensure that more people can make informed decisions about their relationship and escape if necessary. This is an important step towards ensuring we do better by women like Clare Wood in the future."
Over 300 applications for information about a potentially violent boyfriend or girlfriend were made to police using Clare's Law, it has emerged.
The right to ask scheme was piloted in Greater Manchester, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire and Gwent, over a 14 month period starting in the summer of last year.
During that time:
- There were 386 applications for information.
- Police made 111 disclosures - a 29% disclosure rate.
A scheme which allows people to approach police to find out if their partner has a history of domestic abuse is to be rolled out nationwide, ministers are expected to say later today.
Four police forces successfully piloted "Clare's Law", which allows concerned men and women the right to ask police if their partner has a history of domestic violence.
Forces in Gwent, Wiltshire, Greater Manchester and Nottinghamshire have been running the scheme since the summer last year and ministers are today expected to tell Parliament that it should be extended.
The law is named after Clare Wood, who was strangled and set on fire in 2009 by her boyfriend, George Appleton, who had a history of violence against women.
New draft guidance on tackling domestic violence has been issued by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Hillary Fisher, from the charity Women's Aid, told Daybreak they will provide social care professionals "an understanding of what domestic violence is".
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, in England and Wales:
- Almost a third of women and a fifth of men have experienced domestic violence at some point during their lives;
- 1.2 million women and 784,000 men aged between 16 and 59 experienced abuse in 2010/11.
- Women are more likely than men to experience repeated partner abuse.
- Domestic violence can impact people in a sexual, emotion, financial and physical way.
Advice on honour killings features in guidelines designed to tackle domestic violence, released today by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
The draft recommendations aim to give healthcare workers a clearer idea of how to confront domestic violence.
Healthcare and social workers should be trained to recognise when domestic violence is taking place and ask the right questions, according to new Government recommendations.
Care staff should also identify barriers victims may face when trying to get help and introduce a strategy to get round them, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) reported.
Director of Public Prosecutions Kier Starmer said today's figures on rates of conviction for violent crimes against women and girls "sends a powerful message perpetrators."
Describing today's figures as a "result of a decade of change" and progress, he said:
There is no doubt that until recently the criminal justice system was failing women and girls. For example ten years ago, less than half the domestic violence cases that we prosecuted ended in convictions – that has gone up to three in four today.
The evidence is clear that ten years of progress is paying off and not only are the conviction rates steadily increasing, but our service to victims is also improving. These results send a powerful message to perpetrators that they are more likely than ever to be convicted for their crimes.