Monday, March 12, 2012

Do you want to know your partner's violent past?

What if you meet a new partner on a dating website?  You know nothing of him and have no mutual acquaintances.  Would you contact the police to find out if he had a history of violence against other women?  What would you do with the information? Refuse to get involved with him or decide that you are different?

Some women are their own worst enemies - witness those who become pen friends and then marry convicted murderers on death row.

A lot of men who are guilty of domestic violence are not known to the police.  Some who have a criminal record have one because of a very minor incident that they admitted to.  Some who are guilty of serious domestic violence have no police record because they deny it and the victim refuses to proceed.

We do not live in a perfect world. Domestic violence charities are against Clare's Law as reported in The Independent .  Clare's father states that it can't do any harm. It can do harm if people rely on it inappropriately.  One of my friends employed a plumber who was arrested at her house.  She rang the police and asked if she should be worried and should she allow him back in her home.  They said she had nothing to worry about.  He was a serial conman, identity thief, and charged with domestic violence and breaking and entering.  He was wanted by 3 separate police forces and he was bailed and went on to steal substantial sums from her and 2 of her friends. As far as I know he is still on the run. In my experience the police make mistakes so obtaining a reassurance from them is no guarantee of safety.

Anyone who becomes involved with a complete stranger is taking a risk. We met a London Cab driver at the weekend who regaled us with his failed on line dating experiences.  Women who lied about their age, posted the wrong photo etc.  He drove from London to Stratford upon Avon for a date with someone who claimed to be 42 but had just had a hip replacement and looked 62.  More fool him you might say but what risks are these women taking with their safety?

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