With the launch of The Home Office's 'This Is Abuse' Campaign, Family Lives revisits Claire's Law - a pilot scheme designed to protect individuals & families from violent partners

In July 2012, a new initiative, officially called the Domestic Violence Disclosure pilot scheme,  was launched in Greater Manchester, Gwent, Wiltshire and Nottingham. The pilot is running until September 2013 and is  primarily about prevention and exploring new ways of protecting victims of domestic abuse.  Its intention is to help individuals make an informed decision on whether or not to continue a relationship, and will provide help and support to them when making that choice.Claire's Law - as the pilot is known - will enable police to act in the best interests of those people who believe they are at risk of violence by sharing information of a partner's violent past.

Family Lives believes it is very encouraging to see this scheme being trialled in the UK and we call for this to be adopted nationwide as women, men and concerned family members should have the right to know about the violent past of any future partners, particularly if there are children within the household potentially at risk.  Such a scheme would install clear new rights for victims, family and friends to access crucial information, empowering them to make clearer choices and to work with the police on these matters.  

Early intervention is also crucial to engage with young people who may have anger management issues or are prone to violent outbursts.  At Family Lives we help parents to discuss the issue of abuse within relationships.   Fostering understanding and respect between young people is crucial to equip them with the resilience to becoming victim to domestic violence.  Family Lives’ TeenBoundaries division works with schools to educate children about the dangers of sexualised bullying and abuse in teenage relationships.  Their work teaches children not to become victims and to feel more empowered and resilient to future bullying or sexualised violence and also aims to prevent them from becoming potential perpetrators or bullies. So far TeenBoundaries have provided 7000 students with lessons focused on dealing with sexual bullying, provided individual mentoring and tailored gender lessons in schools.

If you would like to explore running a Teen Boundaries Session at your school or centre of learning, please contact the team by visiting this webpage http://www.bullying.co.uk/content/teenboundaries-contact-0.