Domestic violence is a highly gendered crime, with women being the victims of personal and emotional abuse significantly more than men.
It is estimated that one in three women have experienced some form of violence in their lives, and one in five experiencing forms of sexual violence.
‘Clare’s Law’ or the ‘Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme’ (DVDS) is a pilot program aimed at enabling potential victims of domestic violence to find out if their intimate or other partner has a history of domestic violence and abuse. The scheme implements this through two strands, including a ‘Right to Ask’ and ‘Right to Know’.
The ‘Right to Ask’ strand, gives individuals the right to ask police about their current partners criminal history in relation to domestic violence offences. This ‘Right to Ask’ strand includes close friends and family of a person who is in a relationship that appears to have issues or signs of violence, that the victim themselves may not be aware of.
The ‘Right to Know’ strand gives Police officers the right to approach a potential victim of Domestic Violence, if they possess knowledge of a situation that may be seen as risky or potentially harmful.
The DVDS implements a proportionality test that weighs the balance between the victims’ rights to know and the possible offenders rights to privacy and information on their criminal history to remain confidential.
Factors that are considered include the seriousness of the offences; the relevancy of the offences, and the time elapsed since a last offence before any information is revealed.
A benefit of introducing ‘Clare’s Law’ allows for filling the gaps that exist in the domestic violence programs already in place, that target support groups rather than prevention strategies.
This prevention strategy is crucial in avoiding the burdensome and emotionally difficult challenges that can be faced when violent situations arise in the home.
It is important to understand there are many options for victims of domestic violence, and the vast range of support services available.
There is no need to feel trapped, afraid or unable to seek advice.
If you have already experienced domestic violence, which can range from verbal, to emotional and physical abuse, ETB Legal can discuss your options and provide advice on how best to resolve the situation.
Claims for Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO’s) can be made to ensure yours and loved ones safety.
If you need to talk to an experienced lawyer on Domestic Violence matters – Call ETB Legal on (02) 9188 9669 or Mobile: 0412 915 247.