A GRIEVING father last night helped launch a new campaign for victims of domestic violence.
Michael Brown, of Batley, travelled to London to meet police chiefs and the Government’s Victims Commissioner, Louise Casey.
They are behind a campaign demanding that women should be given the right to know whether their partners have a history of violence.
Mr Brown is the father of Clare Wood, who was brutally murdered in 2009 by a man she met through Facebook, oblivious to his record of domestic violence against previous partners.
Ms Wood, an ex-pupil of St John Fisher Catholic High School, Dewsbury, grew up in the Kirklees town.
George Appleton, who was known as The Facebook Fugitive after going on the run, killed Clare and set her body on fire before hanging himself.
The proposal – which is being called Clare’s Law in reference to Ms Wood – comes amid concern that women are increasingly meeting men via the internet with little or no knowledge of their pasts.
Former Home Office minister Hazel Blears is leading the campaign for the law change and was joined by Ms Wood’s father and Brian Moore from the Association of Chief Police Officers for its launch.
Mr Brown said: “Facts and the statistics in this country show domestic abuse is at epidemic proportion.
“I would like to see the ladies of this country get a bit more protection, which I didn’t get for my daughter.
“Appleton had a history of violence, including a knifepoint kidnapping.
“The year my daughter died, there were three ladies killed in Manchester, including my daughter, within a nine-month period and I think it’s a scandal”.
Ms Blears said: “Women in Clare’s situation often are unaware of their partner’s previous relationships and this can mean they start a relationship with someone with no idea if they have a violent past.
“Clare’s tragic death shows how vulnerable women aren’t always protected under the current law and until women are given the right to know if their partner has a history of serial domestic abuse they can’t be sure of the risk that they face.
“By changing the law we can empower women so that they can take informed action about their relationship and give them the chance to protect themselves and prevent domestic abuse from happening before it begins.”
Ms Casey, Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses, said the proposal had her “full support”.
“This seems common sense to me. Our priority should not be protecting a perpetrator’s privacy at the expense of costing a woman’s life,” she said.
The Home Office said it was committed to doing all it could to protect victims of domestic violence and would “always consider what more can be done”.
“Clare’s death was a tragic incident and it’s important that lessons are learnt,” a spokesman said.