GWENT Police’s fight against domestic violence is the subject of Channel 4’s Dispatches Programme next week.
Do You Know Your Partner’s Past? takes a behind the scenes look at howthe force is implementing Clare’s Law – a pilot scheme where people can find out about their partner’s history of violence.
The programme is presented by Tina Nash, whose boyfriend Shane Jenkin was jailed for life earlier this year after gouging her eyes out leaving her blind. She knew nothing of his history of domestic abuse. Now Miss Nash, of Cornwall, will find out more about the project to see if it will make a difference for other victims of domestic abuse. She will meet supporters and opponents to find out whether it is an effective way of pre-empting violence or is an invasion of privacy.
Clare’s Law is named after Clare Wood, 36, who was killed by her former boyfriend, who, unknown to her, had a violent background.
She had complained several times to Greater Manchester police about him before her death in 2009.
Under the scheme anyone can ask the police to check whether a new or existing partner has a violent past.
If police checks show a personmay be at risk of domestic violence from their partner, the police will then consider disclosing the information and offer them help if they wish to leave their partner.
Controversially the scheme can disclose previous allegations of abuse – even if they did not lead to a conviction.
Police forces in Manchester, Wiltshire and Nottingham are also taking part in the project, which will end in September, 2013.
Do You Know Your Partner’s Past?, Channel 4, Monday at 8pm.