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Clare’s Law to be Piloted in Aberdeen

A pilot scheme which allows people to see if their partner has a history of domestic violence or domestic abuse has been unrolled in Aberdeen and Ayrshire in the Scottish Government’s bid to control domestic abuse in Scotland.

The law, also known as Clare’s law, will be piloted for six months in Aberdeen and Ayrshire and will look to inform those who have doubts about the past of their partner.

Reveals History of Domestic Abuse

The law, which is already in place in England, came following the murder of Clare Wood by her ex-boyfriend who had a history of domestic abuse. At the time of her death Clare Wood had no idea of her partners history of domestic violence towards women.

As part of the scheme, only convictions related to domestic violence will be disclosed to those inquiring.

The father of Clare Wood, Michael Brown, originally from Aberdeen, has praised the move from the Scottish Government in the hope that it will save a countless number of lives and prevent domestic abuse across the country.

Brown, who campaigned for the introduction of Clare’s Law in Scotland said: "It is not acceptable that domestic abuse exists in this day and age and the sooner people are helped to get out of that environment the better.

"It not only affects the person who is being abused but their wider network including their parents, any children they may have and friends.

"If Clare had known George Appleton's background she almost certainly wouldn't have become involved with him and if I had the knowledge I have now perhaps something could have been done and Clare would still be here today.”

He added: "This scheme is another way to help people and I can only see it as a good thing. If it prevents just one child from growing up without a mother or a father it will be worth its weight in gold."

Some Criticism

Despite criticism that the scheme only reveals convictions by partners or could be a free for all for people to obtain private information, Police Scotland have backed the law as part of their aim to tackle domestic violence. Detective Superintendent Mark Cooper believed that the law would be beneficial to many partners saying: “What we have to establish is whether that person is a risk to the individual. It is not a free for all.

“What we have to do is look at these crimes and conviction to discuss whether or not a disclosure is relevant in these circumstances.”

Supt Neil Kerr, of Police Scotland, said: "Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority for the police and this scheme will allow us to share information about an abuser's past with a potential victim.”

He added: "Applying through this scheme will ultimately assist those who are worried about their partner's behaviour to make a more informed decision about whether to remain in the relationship."

If the scheme proves successful in the two areas of Scotland it could be rolled out across the country

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If you have been a victim of domestic abuse or believe your family may be at risk of domestic violence, contact our family solicitors today using our online contact form. For quick, confidential advice or legal representation, contact us today.

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