Proposed Domestic Violence Register

Liz Saville Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, is attempting to introduce a law to create a register of perpetrators convicted of domestic violence, with a condition that Police must warn new partners of the violent past of repeat offenders.

Mrs Saville Roberts is campaigning for there to be a requirement for anyone convicted of a domestic violence offence to have to provide to the Police their name, date of birth, home address and National Insurance number within three days of the conviction.

At present, Claire’s Law permits disclosure by the Police regarding someone’s violent past to a partner if they ask to be informed. Claire’s Law was introduced in 2014, following the murder of Claire Wood by her ex-boyfriend in 2009.

If the proposed law for a register of domestic violence offenders is introduced, it would place an obligation on the police to inform people if their new partner may be violent or has been violent to former partners.
There would also be an onus on offenders to inform the Police of any new relationships they start. Failure to do so may result in imprisonment.

Perpetrators repeatedly convicted of domestic violence and those sentenced to 30 months or more, for domestic violence or coercive control would stay on the register indefinitely.

There would also be a requirement for repeat offenders to report to the Police on specific occasions and, in addition, Police officers would be permitted to make unannounced visits to their homes.

Mrs Saville Roberts is intending to introduce the above proposals to Parliament as a Private Members’ Bill, hoping to secure the backing of other MPs and be given sufficient parliamentary time to become law.

Information provided by the Office of National Statistics states approximately 1.4 million women suffer domestic violence each year, with seven women dying per month due to abuse from a violent partner or former partner. Of course, it is important to note that many men are also subjected to domestic violence and abuse, although a high proportion of them may never report it, due to the stigma of being an abused male.

Harry Fletcher of the Victims Rights Campaign has assisted in drawing up the new Bill outlining the proposals and is hopeful that if the register is incorporated into legislation it will “result in women taking less risks in relationships and therefore will result in a fall in violence and murders”.

If you or anyone you know is being or has been subjected to any form of domestic violence and abuse, or the perpetrator has made an application in the family courts and you have to attend, don’t delay, contact the Domestic Violence and Abuse Department (DVAD) at Emery Johnson Astills, either by phoning 0116 255 4855, or by emailing DVAD@johnsonastills.com.

A specially trained member of staff in the DVAD of Emery Johnson Astills will be able to provide advice as to what measures you can take to protect yourself and also whether you may be eligible for Legal Aid.