Proposed UK Law Would Help Protect Women from Serial Domestic Abusers

Just last week I wrote about a proposed bill in New Hampshire that would require police to witness violence firsthand before making an arrest.

At the same time in the UK a new law being considered by the home secretary would help protect women from starting a relationship with a serial domestic abuser.

The law, titled “Clare’s law” in honor of Clare Wood who met her murderer on an internet website, would let police warn women if a new partner has a violent past. The recent launch of a national police database as well as the popularity of online dating spurred the idea. The goal of the law is to prevent murders like Wood’s and reduce the number of deaths at the hands of domestic violence.

And that’s not all the government is doing to help protect victims of domestic abuse.

According to a statement made by the Home Office, “Clare’s death was a tragic incident and it’s important that lessons are learned. We are committed to doing all we can to protect victims of domestic violence including funding a network of independent domestic violence advisers and a national helpline for victims.”

At the end of June the Home office also launched domestic violence protection orders in three pilot areas to empower police from prohibiting offenders from contacting victims or returning to their home for up to 28 days.

A Widespread Problem

The problem of domestic violence in the UK cannot be overlooked. That a look at these chilling statistics:

  • Approximately 25,000 serial domestic abusers are at large
  • Two women are killed every week by a partner or former partner
  • 4-10 people a week commit suicide as a result of domestic abuse
  • 1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse in their lifetime

Perhaps it is a little naďve but I never considered the fact that domestic abusers might use online dating sites to prey on women, but think about how easy it could be. You create a profile that paints the portrait of an upstanding, respectful person and the door opens to hundreds of potential matches – all who are now unknowingly potential victims.

People on dating sites might lie about their age or natural hair color or some other small detail about their lives, but lying about a history of violence is frightening, not to mention despicable.  Abusers don’t advertise their violent past, but their future partners deserve to know what they are getting into. If Clare’s law passes and police are able to warn women of a prospective partner’s violent past, they could save many lives.

What do you think? Is Clare’s law a good idea?


Related from Care2:

New Bill Would Require Police to Witness Violence Firsthand Before Making Arrest

Reclaiming The Cause: When Your Abuser Claims to Be a Feminist

Domestic Violence: It’s Close Than You Think


Photo credit: Prashanthns, via wikimedia commons


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Silvia G.
Silvia G5 years ago

It's something to start with.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

So, bring it on!

Carole H.
Carole H6 years ago

will be interesting to see if anything comes of this

Suzanne Loewen
Suzanne L6 years ago

It's a great idea. I wish we had something like this here.

Chad A.
Chad Anderson6 years ago

I hope that this works... and spreads elsewhere!

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley6 years ago

It sounds like a good idea. I hope that it is successful.

Michelle Knight
Michelle Knight6 years ago

I tip my hat to the people or person who came up with such an HONORABLE idea & Plan of Action with The BEST interest of Women/Girls/Children & Society at large in mind! I know ALL too well from persoanl experience that here in America for far too many people Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Incest & Rape are trivialized & those who suffer at the hands of anAbuser are more oftenthan Not met with a callous "Get over it" attitude from those who could never understand what this can do to a person!!! I would love to receive Not only updates on the progress of this law, but would also love to find out the implementation plan, rules & regulations involved!!!!! The U.K has always had my respect, now their law-makers have actually captured a piece of my heart, they have proventhat they TRULY/HONESTLY with Love/Care/Compassion/ Respect & DIGNITY care about ALL of the people in their communities & country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

I think Clare's Law is a GREAT idea. Kudos to the United Kingdom. Republicans are saying President Obama wants us to be more like our Europeon cousins...count me in with the President. There is much we can learn from Europeon countries, they been around longer, fought many wars on their soil and have had to learn some hard lessons. We should look at what they and others countries are doing in many areas and see if those changes might work for us. Why not? Doesn't have to be our final or only answer but it doesn't hurt to pay attention and learn.

Penny C.
penny C6 years ago

Good news, thanks.