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Dublin: 16 °C Thursday 30 October, 2014

Domestic violence register ‘would help protect victims’ in Ireland

The call comes after a scheme known as Clare’s Law was introduced in the UK at the weekend.

Clare Wood, who was murdered by her former partner in 2009.
Clare Wood, who was murdered by her former partner in 2009.
Image: Greater Manchester Police

A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE register scheme would help protect victims of the crime in Ireland, an Irish TD has suggested.

He made the call after Clare’s Law, the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, was introduced to more parts of the UK at the weekend.

This scheme follows a long campaign by the family of Clare Wood, a 36-year-old woman who was murdered by her ex-partner in Manchester.

After a pilot scheme, Clare’s Law is now being rolled out in England and Wales.

It enables the police to disclose information about individuals with prior convictions of domestic violence.

Appleton had a violent past, including previous convictions of repeated harassment, threats and the kidnapping at knifepoint of one of his other ex-girlfriends.

When Clare’s father Michael Brown discovered this, he launched a campaign for people to be able to find out if their partner has a violent past.

He believed if his daughter knew about her ex- partner’s past, “she would have dropped him like a hot brick and scampered out of there”.

Today, there were suggestions that a similar scheme should be introduced in Ireland to help protect people at risk of domestic violence.

‘We need to do more to protect victims’

The Chair of the Oireachtas Justice Committee , Deputy David Stanton, said that a Register of Domestic Violence should be introduced in Ireland as part of protecting victims of such violence.

We need to do much more to protect victims of domestic violence, and the introduction of such a scheme would be an important step.

He said that the committee had heard from over 20 groups and individuals on the issue over the past two weeks.

The committee is due to publish a report on the meetings, and Deputy Stanton said he hopes it is “acted upon without delay by the Government”.



(Essex Police/YouTube)

How Clare’s Law works

  • An officer takes details of what has prompted an enquiry and the nature of the relationship;
  • The officer will ask when and where it is safe to make contact again;
  • The applicant will need to give their name, address and date of birth and some initial checks will be done to establish if there are any immediate concerns;
  • Following initial contact with the police, a face-to-face meeting may be set up to complete the application if deemed appropriate. This meeting will establish further details about the application in order to assess risk and confirm identity;
  • Working alongside the Prison Service, Probation Service and Social Services, checks will be completed as quickly as possible;
  • A multi-agency meeting will then be set up to decide whether any disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate and if so, will decide who to disclose the information to and set up a safety plan tailored to the needs of the potential victim.

Read: Clare’s Law protects women at risk of domestic violence>

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