Clare's Law , a scheme allowing couples to check out their partner's history of domestic violence has been unveiled by ministers . A pilot of "Clare's Law" – named in honour of Clare Wood who was brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend – will begin in four areas of England and Wales this summer. Under the scheme , women and men will have the right to ask police about a partner's history under a 12-month trial of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) in Greater Manchester, Gwent, Nottinghamshire and Wiltshire. It comes after a campaign for a change in the law by Clare's father Michael Brown and pressure from the Respect and Protect campaign started by The Sun's Fabulous magazine.
Clare was strangled and set on fire by her ex-boyfriend, George Appleton, at her home in Salford in February 2009. Mum-of-one Clare, 36, met Appleton on Facebook and was unaware of his history of horrific violence against women which included kidnapping one of his ex-girlfriends at knife point. Appleton, dubbed the "Facebook Fugitive", went on the run before hanging himself.
Violent partner ... Clare Wood's killer George Appleton
At the inquest into Miss Wood's death last year, Coroner Jennifer Leeming said women in abusive relationships should have the right to know about the violent past of the men they were with.
Since the Scheme was announced yesterday , arguments and criticism have arisen regarding the need for such a law.
" Why should women be giving access into men's private records?" Where will this stop, where do we draw the line?"
"What if this right to gain access is abused by rejected women and men seeking revenge ?"
My take on this is that Clare's Law is long overdue.
Both men and women need protection from "predators"; more so needed by women than men.
Women , sadly , when they think they are "in love" with men; do need laws to protect themselves from their own carelessness and naivety.
When in love, some women , even experienced ones who should know better; become gullible and easily manipulated by men. They would see their lovers through rose-tinted lens and throw caution to the winds!
In contrast, when in a relationship , men tend to be clinical and down to earth about women. Men are capable of presenting to women , what to men is nothing but a purely sexual relationship, ("a roll in the hay"! ); as a "true love" relationship, and they could , for many months or years, give undiscerning women the impression that they are "in it for real, forever!" When eventually, the women wake up to smell the coffee and choose to opt out of the unpleasant relationship , the rejected men would turn violent. After Clare Wood's murder in 2009, there have been numerous shocking reports of domestic violence which resulted in severe injuries, loss of lives and properties.
Violently deranged men have exacted revenge attacks, murdered their girlfriends or wives and even killed their children and the parents and siblings of their wives or girlfriends. Family homes and properties worth thousands of pounds have been set ablaze .
Despite these news reports, girls and women have continued to throw caution to the winds and dive head-long into abusive relationships with unsuitable men; even when the warning signs are there for them to see.
Sadly , girls and women have refused to learn from the mistakes of thousands of unfortunate women
Some women would rather choose to be in such destructive relationships; out of fear of being alone.
Usually, the term "domestic violence" conjures images of battered women as victims of domestic violence unleashed on them by the men in their lives.
But there has been an increase in number of men being victims of violence domestic violence.
Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey show that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available. In 2006-07 men made up 43.4% of all those who had suffered partner abuse in the previous year, which rose to 45.5% in 2007-08 but fell to 37.7% in 2008-09.
The reasons men and women kill those close to them are very different.
Women most often kill their husbands because they are themselves the victims of domestic abuse and can no longer cope with constant beatings and emotional abuse from their men.
Or, more rarely, it's for money - the "black widow" syndrome - or when a woman has a history of domestic violence towards her partner.
Domestic violence is serious , itruins and distorts relationships, destroys lives and it breaks up families.
Whenever it happens , it must not be swept under the carpet and handled with kid gloves.
The victims, both males and females, must not be ashamed or frightened to speak out and to report all cases of domestic violence . Domestic violence is a raging fire which could engulf not only the feuding couple but also other people connected to them. Their own children and members of their family ,have been murdered by men and women to exact revenge on each other.
Neighbours, families and friends of the couple must take it as their civic duty to report all cases of domestic violence whenever they see or hear it is happening. It must not be dismissed lightly by any body as : " Oh! These are normal tiffs between loving couples, they will sort themselves out . That's none of our business !"
There have been similar laws, schemes and organisations put in place in the UK ; to protect women from starting destructive relationships or remaining in relationships with violent and abusive men.
However, it is one thing making laws to protect people from depraved members of the public, but it is a completely different thing for those laws to be fully enforced by the Police and the Judiciary ; and it another challenge for women to be wise enough to use such laws to protect themselves as needed .
Hopefully , with the aid of this Scheme, when women care to utilise it , they would find out that the men they have fallen in love with have alarming records of serial convictions for assault and battery on women .
Clare's Law could , indeed, help to jolt vulnerable girls and women from their dream-state of being " in love", faster than their God-given female intuition which they refuse to heed.