The first time they hit you

>>  Monday, March 05, 2012

'Clare's Law' gives 'right to ask' on domestic violence

This is news today, a scheme that will allow people to find out if their partner has a history of violence.  I suspect it'll work much like the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme and in general be of no help at all to most.

Are you likely to go to the police station and apply for information about a prospective boyfriend? No of course not.   Why would you go to the police and say "have they done this before?" before they actually were aggressive, violent....before it's too late.

Even then the worry of what the repercussions could be might prevent ever involving the police.  If the relationship is already deep seated, financially tied, children to uproot.  Maybe your mind says "Hey maybe it's because they were stressed that night, they are never good after drinking spirits, I should have walked away, maybe it won't happen again"

The first time the fists hits you there's so many excuses you can make yourself to explain it away, it's probably a one off.  The second time you start to learn how to avoid it.  Even after broken bones you still think it's probably all a big mistake, they aren't like this normally.  This horridness is only a tiny part of the whole relationship.

I suspect that the majority of domestic violence is quietly brushed under the carpet, the police never getting involved.  By the time someone is likely to involve the Police things are likely to be very bad indeed and, as they should have done for Clare Wood, the police need to respond quickly and take it seriously.  Creating a paper based scheme 'up front' isn't going to help people that find themselves in the middle of a relationship where the other half has a heavy hand.

Sometimes the abused hang on in there and stay in the relationship regardless, sometimes the physical abuse stops, a passing phase of a relationship. 

Sometimes the physical abuse simply turns into a way with words.  Sometimes this is worse.  Try going to the Police and explaining that one.

Sometimes people choose to walk away from domestic violence, sometimes they don't, sometimes it stops, sometimes they die.

Sometimes life is more complicated than "they have a history of violence".

I think the right to be able to get access to police records if appropriate should be a given for any crime whether it be sex offence, violence, fraud, whatever to anybody if their reason for asking can be appropriately justified.  Employers can search, CRB requests search, why not an individual but let's not pretend on any level that this will go anyway to protecting people from domestic violence or will help anyone out of a hole.

I guess whilst the government continue to concoct bling schemes the needy must continue to rely on charitable support.

UK 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline 0808 2000 247 (If you are in danger call 999) 


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