I don’t know if you noticed it but “Clare’s Law”, the Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme came into operation across the whole of Scotland yesterday.
This scheme gives a partner or third party concerned about a friend or relative, the right to apply for disclosure of their partners suspected history of domestic abuse or violent behaviour.
In the six months of its trial period, there were 59 applications of which 22 resulted in disclosure.
An indication that the majority of cases have 37 from 59 have no abusive history to disclose despite having suspicions.
That doesn’t make them abusive, or clear them, it just means there is nothing to report.
Either that or the person being reported is not actually abusive but the person applying may have their own malicious reasons to apply, possibly a third party trying to put the mix in.
Unrealistic? I don’t think so, the pettiness, maliciousness and self interest of people never ceases to amaze me.
Despite that, having been on the receiving end of domestic abuse, I’m all for disclosure, it can only be a good thing. If it saves one unfortunate soul then it’s fine it’s job.
As a guy experiencing it, it goes unreported because what guy would report it?
You walk away. Simple.
Reporting it would only seem petty and result in lies and counter claims trying to justify the unjustifiable.
It’s easier just to walk away particularly when you are capable of standing on your own two feet and have no ongoing dependency on the abuser.
But here’s what I’m wondering, at which point should a person have the right to pry into someone else’s, a partners background?
Such a vague term, clearly not someone you met last week, so should that be based on the duration of the relationship?
Or on the level of commitment? I wouldn’t think you’d have to be living together to have concerns.
Personally I think that it should it be because the person suspected of previous domestic abuse has demonstrated some dubious behaviour?
But if they have demonstrated dubious behaviour, do you really need to apply for their history?
What if the person has no history to disclose?
Does that make their behaviour any more acceptable?
Wouldn’t it be better just to get out of the relationship at the first sign of jealousy, controlling behaviour and/or verbal or physical abuse?
Okay, that’s the ideal, but it doesn’t really work like that does it?
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if you’ve been in that kind of relationship, then the one thing you know for certain is that you wish you’d got out earlier in the relationship as the warning signs were there.
How many times have you seen a friend in a long term relationship were they can’t be themselves because of a controlling or jealous partner?
You listen to their stories and you’d like them out of it, but they don’t leave, either through fear of the consequences, fear of being alone or because they have emotional and financial commitments with that person, children, house, mortgage, financial dependence.
Having listened to people’s stories over the years, women in particular will put up with some amount of crap from an abusive or controlling partner because they’ve bought into the situation, had kids, it’s about more than them.
If that’s the case the person doesn’t need disclosure, they already know.
What they need is support from friends, family and social services.
In the longer term, If we take it as a given that unfortunately most perpetrators of domestic abuse are men, then what we need is strong women who will not tolerate that behaviour and avoid being in a dependent situation by having their own career and income.
Strong, independent, capable women that’s what I like and want my girls to be.
If they happen to have a man in their life’s then it’s because they choose them, because they want them, not because they need them.