Victims can make the difference
Published at 11:27, Monday, 05 March 2012
Domestic violence is a hidden misery relying on a collusion of secrecy, fear and a degree of acceptance.
In extreme forms it’s a killer – as was the case when 36-year-old Salford mother Clare Wood was murdered by her former partner in 2009.
But in any circumstance it is a controlling, degrading presence which introduces demeaning abuse into an unequal relationship and gives it continuing dominance.
Tagged Clare’s Law, a new government plan will pilot a scheme by which people will be able to find out from police if their partners have a history of domestic violence.
The domestic violence campaign group Refuge has attacked the scheme, saying it will do little to protect victims.
That’s probably true. Because so many women – for they are mainly women – fail to follow through criminal proceedings after attacks and many more repeatedly reconcile with violent partners, few domestic abusers have formal criminal records.
But it would be wrong to blame the Government for trying to stem a widespread scourge of violence in the home – behaviour which endangers both parties and children.
A check on a new partner’s history might be a small, uncertain attempt at precaution. But it’s surely worth a try.
More effective would be for abused partners to declare zero-tolerance; name, shame and report their controllers. And reject reconciliation.
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk