A WEARSIDE group that supports victims of domestic violence has welcomed the introduction of “Clare’s Law” by the Government.
The new scheme, introduced as a pilot in four areas, will allow people to find out from police if their partner has a history of domestic abuse.
The law is named after Clare Wood, from Salford, Greater Manchester, who was murdered in 2009 by a former boyfriend with a violent background.
Carolyn Trueman, who started the Sunderland support group four years ago, said: “For the women in the group it is a big deal.
“I have not been a victim myself, so I can’t imagine what they have been through, but I know for them it will be a good start.
“It means they will have some sort of control over who they are seeing and I hope it will make a big difference.
“Women need a lot of education about domestic abuse and it’s obviously up to them who they go into a relationship with but I hope this will mean they think twice first.”
In January, Carolyn and women from the group took a petition to the House of Commons calling for the law to be introduced.
They were met there by Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott and they handed over the appeal to be considered.
Carolyn said: “I hope we made a difference when we went to the House of Commons as we had over 1,800 signatures on the petition and I know the women found it very empowering going down to London.
“I really hope that it will come to Sunderland as it has to be a good thing based on the women I have worked with. They have said that if they had had the right to ask they might not have got into the relationship in the first place.”
And Carolyn added that it is very important for anyone affected by a domestic relationship to seek help.
She said: “If anyone finds themselves in a situation of abuse I would advise them to seek support from local groups such as Wearside Women in Need.
“We have seen women with really abusive experiences get help and they have been able to start a new life.”
The pilot will initially be trialled in Greater Manchester, Nottinghamshire, Wiltshire and Gwent.