Green Party MLA welcomes NI answer to ‘Clare’s Law’

Monday March 26 2018

Green Party MLA Clare Bailey has welcomed a new scheme aimed at helping to protect people from becoming a victim of domestic violence or abuse.

The Domestic Violence and Abuse Disclosure Scheme (DVADS) allows an individual to make inquiries confidentially to police, where they have concerns that their partner has a history of abusive behaviour.  This will enable them to make an informed choice about an existing personal relationship. An application can also be made by a third party who knows them and has concerns, such as a parent or a family member.

DVADS is similar to ‘Clare’s Law’ in England and Wales, and to a scheme that has been introduced in Scotland.

South Belfast MLA Clare Bailey said: “I am very glad to see Northern Ireland catching up with the rest of the UK and very much welcome the introduction of this programme which will allow people to access the key information that may protect them.

“We are facing an epidemic of domestic and sexual violence in our society, with almost 30,000 incidents reported to police in the last year, the highest number since records began.

“This disclosure scheme, along with the Domestic Violence Perpetrators Programme pilot scheme which was launched last week, will go a long way towards helping us to deal with sexual violence and domestic violence.

“It is disappointing that Northern Ireland still has no specific legislation to help deal with domestic violence. If our Assembly had not been collapsed, I believe we could also be passing legislation on coercive control. These three together would have sent a powerful message.

“That said, this development sends a clear message that we will no longer tolerate this endemic abuse,” the Green Party MLA said.


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