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Clare's Law: Victim speaks about years of abuse

As Clare's Law is rolled out across the Northumbria Police force area, one anonymous woman has been speaking to ITV News Tyne Tees about how she was abused for years.

Under the new law, people can find out from police whether or not their partners have a history of domestic violence. It's named after Clare Wood, who was strangled by her partner, despite asking for help.

"I had three relationships and all of them have been abusive. The last one was one of the worst. He raped me and had me sexually assaulted by two other people. I was locked in the house. Friends were putting cigarettes through the letterbox for us. I had no money of my own. Nothing, he took over my life...I got dragged round the house by my hair. You get put down all the time. You get told: 'You're useless, you're fat, you're ugly'. Nothing you do is right and everything you do is wrong."

– Anonymous victim

How does Clare's Law work?

Step One: Initial contact - police take details on what prompted an enquiry and the nature of a relationship before running checks and a risk assessment.

Step Two: Face to face meeting - 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.


Clare's law rolled out to 'make women safer'

Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A law which allows people to find out if their partners have a history of domestic violence will go live across the Northumbria force area from today.

Clare's Law is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton at her home in Salford in 2009.

She had met Appleton on Facebook, unaware of his history of violence against women.

More: How Clare's Law protects women from domestic abuse

The scheme was piloted in Greater Manchester and is now being extended across the country.