Call to adopt British disclosure law to prevent domestic violence
Share article:
Share article:

Call to adopt British disclosure law to prevent domestic violence

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Belgium’s Institute for Equality between Women and Men has called on the government to adopt its own version of Clare’s Law, which allows police to disclose a person’s history of domestic violence to others who may be at risk.

Clare’s Law was introduced in England and Wales in 2014, named after Clare Woods, who died at the hand of her partner, who was known to be dangerous. Since then it has spread to the other parts of the UK, as well as Australia and Canada.

The law allows police to reveal a person’s history of domestic violence in a case where someone else may be at risk. For example, a man with a history who now has a new partner. Or vice versa, of course.

“We should seriously think about whether we should not make that possible,” deputy director of the institute Liesbet Stevens told last night’s Pano report on partner violence.

There are many stories of perpetrators who commit serial partner violence,” she said.

A system such as in the United Kingdom could then ensure that the alarm bells go off sooner.

Sarah Schlitz (Ecolo) is secretary of state for gender equality. She described the proposal as ‘negotiable’.

We are open to any measure that can avoid future victims. We look at a foreign example from that perspective, but we also have obvious concerns. For example, we also have to respect the privacy of those involved,” she said.

The British law – and its derivatives in Australia and Canada – includes the right to information: the right to ask and the right to know. The means that on the one hand a person can approach the police to ask about a third party. And on the other that the police can take the initiative to inform someone who may be at risk of the circumstances of which they may not be aware.

Both of those provisions could clash with Belgium’s privacy laws, but without them, it is difficult to see how Clare’s Law could be made truly effective here.

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...