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'Clare's Law' in use across North East

Clare Wood was murdered by a former partner in 2009 Credit: Greater Manchester Police

More than 170 people in our region have applied to use the new Clare's Law in the first six months since it was introduced. The law allows people to find out from the police whether a new partner has a history of violence. The law is named after 36 year old Clare Wood who was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in 2009. Her father campaigned for the law to be introduced to allow people to research a new partner's history. Northumbria Police says 26 people have been given information about previous abuse under the new law, while Cleveland Police say 9 people in their force region have accessed information.

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Violence against women and girls: where to get help

Police forces in the North East have joined forces to tackle violence against women, including domestic violence, stalking, and so-called 'honour' violence.

If you are affected by these or any forms of abuse, there are helplines in your area.

Northumbria

  • Women's Aid/Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • Tyneside and Northumberland Rape Crisis Centre: 0800 035 2794
  • North East 'Choice' helpline for victims of honour-based violence and forced marriage: 0800 5999 365

Durham

  • Women's Aid/Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (Darlington & Co. Durham): 01325 369933
  • North East 'Choice' helpline for victims of honour-based violence and forced marriage: 0800 5999 365

Cleveland

  • Women's Aid/Dom Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • Eva Rape Crisis Service (Redcar & Cleveland): 01642 835 079
  • ARCH (Rape Crisis Centre Teesside - Middlesbrough, Stockton & Hartlepool): 01642 822335
  • North East 'Choice' helpline for victims of honour-based violence and forced marriage: 0800 5999 365

If you are in immediate danger, always call 999. For general victim support for domestic and sexual violence and abuse and any other crime call North East Victim Support: 0845 277 0977.

Bridget Phillipson MP: Domestic violence victims must see justice being done

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Domestic and Sexual Violence is taking evidence on how the justice system can be improved for victims of domestic violence.

The Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson, says the Group will be making recommendations to the Government.

You can see Helen Ford's interview with Bridget Phillipson on this month's Around The House (Thursday 21 November) here:

Teesside charity offers support for domestic abuse victims

Police and other agencies across Teesside are using International Women's Day to raise awareness of the help and support on offer.

Among them, is the specialist charity Harbour Support Services, which operates a number of refuges in the region.

Harbour Support Services' Chief Executive Lesley Gibson spoke to ITV News about the importance of campaigns like this one in encouraging people to come forward.

Domestic abuse campaign launched after rise in violence figures

Victims of domestic abuse are supporting a campaign to encourage more women to speak out.

Figures show two women in the UK are killed each week as a result of abuse.

Last year, 13, 281 incidents of domestic violence were reported to Cleveland Police alone - this is an 11% reduction on 2011.

52% of these crimes were detected and the offender was either given a caution or charged to court.

Detective Inspector Mike Cane, of Cleveland Police, spoke to ITV News about the rise in figures in the past few years.

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Man jailed for life for stabbing partner to death

Ian Hope, jailed for life for the murder of Sarah Gosling Credit: North News and Pictures

A man who stabbed his partner to death has been jailed for life at Newcastle Crown Court.

The judge told 53 year old Ian Hope that he will have to serve at least seventeen years before he can apply for parole.

The court heard that Hope had repeatedly attacked 41 year old Sarah Gosling during their relationship.

A week before the killing, Hope had received a community order and been told to attend a domestic violence programme.

Police were called back to the house in Lemington in Newcastle just hours before the killing, but the couple had assured them that everything was all right.

Sarah Gosling died from a single stab wound to the chest, during the fatal row later that night.

The jury took just one hour to find Ian Hope guilty of murder.

After the hearing, Sarah Gosling's brother, Andrew Bernard, released a statement on behalf of the family:

"Sarah Gosling was a mother, daughter and sister when she was robbed of her young life by Ian Hope....the pain that his killing of my sister has left us with will remain always".

Cherie Blair to open centres for vulnerable women

Cherie Blair will visit Teesside to officially open centres which provide specialist support for women who are homeless and those fleeing domestic violence.

The buildings in Middlesbrough offer accommodation and help for up to 26 women and are run by Endeavour Housing Association.

Mrs Blair, the wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, will be taken on a tour of the flats and meet some of the people staying there.

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