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Issue No. 399 February 2016

Minister’s Word

A view from Police Minister Judith Collins

Kia ora, and Happy New Year!

Police Minister Judith Collins

I was heartened to hear that the Family Violence Disclosure Scheme has been used 14 times since it was launched in December (see Ten One no 398).

Police have told me that the disclosures have resulted in some people getting out of a dangerous relationship.

The scheme is based on The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme in the United Kingdom.

It’s known as Clare’s Law after Clare Wood, who was murdered in 2009 by a former partner. She had no knowledge of his violent past.

I want to acknowledge how daunting it would be to go to Police and ask for information about a partner but making the inquiry could prevent a tragedy.

Almost half of all homicides are family violence-related and Police are investigating more than 100,000 family violence incidences every year. On average, Police respond to a family violence incident every five minutes.

These are appalling statistics.

The Family Violence Disclosure Scheme means there is now a framework for people to ask for information and for Police to give it. It will give people the evidence they need to make informed decisions about their relationships.

It is encouraging to see that several Australian States are also considering introducing family violence disclosure schemes. There are also calls for a similar scheme in Korea.

I believe requests for disclosures will increase significantly as people become aware of this scheme. That’s a good thing. We should all be talking about it.

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