Clare Wood was a 36-year old UK woman that, in 2009, was tragically murdered by an obsessive ex-boyfriend with a violent past.

In the months leading up to her death, she frequently contacted police with concerns about her ex-partner’s abusive behaviour.

Not enough was done at the time to protect Clare, but the tragic death has since sparked significant legislative change in the form of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.

The initiative, often referred to as ‘Clare’s Law’, was introduced to help people concerned they are at-risk of domestic violence to find out if their current or ex-partner has a history of violence or abuse.

In 2016, the scheme was adopted for trial in selected NSW areas: Shoalhaven, St George, Sutherland and Oxley. In these areas, concerned persons, or their friends/family members, have been able to make enquiries as to the criminal past of people they suspect pose a threat.

On April 1st, the NSW Government revealed that more than 50 at-risk persons were alerted of their partner’s violent past since the program’s inception and that the two-year trial will be extended indefinitely.

South Australian politicians have taken notice as well, with plans in place to establish a similar framework.

If you need family or domestic violence support, call 1800 RESPECT to speak with a trained counsellor.

If you require legal assistance with a family law matter, give our expert team a call on (02) 4902 3800.

Lucy Urach

Lucy Urach

Family Lawyer

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