Just FIVE South Yorkshire men make use of domestic violence scheme in over three years

Domestic violence.
Domestic violence.

Just five men have made an approach or had an application made on their behalf to find out if their partner has a history of domestic abuse compared to more than 200 women.

Only a handful of men have directly applied or had someone concerned for their welfare make an application on their behalf to South Yorkshire Police under 'Clare's Law' since it was launched in the area in 2014. This is compared to 266 applications by or on behalf of women.

The domestic violence disclosure scheme was set up following the murder of Claire Wood by an abusive partner in Salford, Manchester, in 2009.

It gives men and women the right to ask police to disclose a partner’s background if they have a history of violence.

The figures were revealed through a Freedom of Information request made by the ManKind Initiative, which supports male victims of domestic abuse.

The charity believes not many men have use it because they are simply not aware it is available to them.

They are calling for the law's name to be changed to something more gender neutral like 'The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme' or 'The Disclosure Scheme'.

Ian McNicholl, domestic abuse survivor and honorary patron of the charity, said: “Had this legislation been available to me, why would I have taken advantage of Clare’s Law? Why would I even think that Clare’s Law applied to me?

"The commonly used shorthand title for this legislation is not gender inclusive and it is now absolutely clear that the terminology used is creating barriers.

"This life changing legislation is available to both females and males’ right across South Yorkshire. .

"Please don’t be like me, make the request to South Yorkshire Police. Alternatively, I would encourage friends, family members and work colleagues to make the request on a behalf of a male they are concerned about."

After making an application and if police checks show that their partner has a record of abusive behavior, or there is other information to indicate that someone is at risk from their partner, the force will consider sharing the information.

Home Office figures recently suggested that male victims are more than three times as likely as women to not tell anyone about an abusive partner. Their survey indicated only 10 per cent of male victims will tell the police compared with 27 per cent of women.

Mark Brooks, chairman of the ManKind Initiative, said: “In the future we hope that in promoting this invaluable piece of legislation, it will encourage more men to use it and of course, more women too, and that professionals will make men aware that the legislation applies to them."

South Yorkshire Police has been approached for comment and we are awaiting a reply.