The coronavirus lockdown has sparked a surge in requests from people wanting to know if their partner has an abusive past, the latest police figures have shown.
Clare’s Law, the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse in Scotland, gives people the right to ask police about the history of their partners.
The legislation also gives police the power to tell someone if they think they may be at risk.
It was revealed this month that there has been an 18 per cent rise in requests to reveal past abuse since lockdown, amid fears vulnerable people are being trapped at home with violent partners during the coronavirus pandemic.
Heather Tierney, a senior solicitor at Watermans, said: “Scottish Women’s Aid have warned of an increase in the severity of domestic abuse as a result of the ongoing lockdown. This is extremely concerning.
“The isolation caused by lockdown is preventing victims from accessing services and also removes many of the options for time away from their abusive situation (i.e. via family, work or school). It is therefore very encouraging that the Scottish Government are providing Women’s Aid with additional funding to help those at risk of domestic violence.
“In these troubling times it is no surprise that there has been an 18% increase in requests to Police Scotland to expose a partner’s history of previous abuse. Under the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse in Scotland, individuals have the opportunity to seek confirmation from police about the historical past of their partner. This scheme also gives Police officers the option to explain to an individual if they feel they may well be at danger.”
Charities have already warned that the severity of domestic abuse is likely to escalate during lockdown as many victims have lost access to time away from abusive situations through school, family or work.
No-one should have to suffer physical or mental abuse at the hands of a partner, no matter what the situation.
If you, or someone you know, are an abuse survivor, Watermans specialist team may be able to help. We specialise in sensitive cases and can help with claims for compensation.
Watermans have the expertise and specialist knowledge to help survivors of abuse through the claims process.