Your eyes meet across the crowded room. You turn away.
Moments pass – you glance again.
Love’s dance has begun.
“I have to go.”
“Can I give you a lift?”
You pull up outside her block. There’s an awkwardness before she leans over and kisses you on the cheek.
She pulls back and you sit looking at each other, silently. She seems reluctant to get out of the car and your heart is pounding as you sense the question forming in her mind.
Finally, after what seems an eternity;
“Would you like..”
“Yes!” your thoughts are screaming.
“.. to write down your full name, address and NI number so that I can check you out on the Domestic Violence Register?”
Result! You’ve pulled.
© William Mcgonagall – Bills & Moon – 2011
The girlies are getting together again, determined to introduce another law to protect themselves from we nasty, nasty men.
Based on a recommendation from a (female) Coroner, Hazel Blears and Louise Casey, the Government’s Victims Commissioner (good grief) together with two token men from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) – great minds, all – claim that it will empower women. It’s a strange sort of empowerment that encourages somebody to rely on the wayward infallibility of the state rather than their own senses of intuition and judgement – but there you go.
The proposal is being called Clare’s Law in reference to Clare Wood, who was murdered in 2009. Ms Wood met George Appleton, her killer, via Facebook without being aware of his record of domestic violence against previous partners.
Appleton murdered her and set her body on fire before hanging himself.
The proposal, which is backed by Ms Wood’s father Michael Brown, comes amid concern that women are increasingly meeting men via the internet with little or no knowledge of their pasts.
Ahh.. that horrible internet again. Because, of course, we all know about the pasts of people we meet face-to-face..
I abhor violence and I particularly abhor violence to women; I deplore what happened to Clare Wood. But I fail to understand how this proposed law would have made her safer; I fail to understand how it has any relevance to the circumstances of her death. Clare had broken off the relationship with her killer – which would suggest that it was her discovery of his real nature and her subsequent rebuff of him that had precipitated her murder. Why would an earlier discovery have changed the outcome?
The involvement of ACPO in this proposal is telling – it’s another exercise in diversion.
Because Clare Wood was empowered. She took the decision to break off the relationship with her killer but he sought revenge.
The 36-year-old victim, who had a 10-year-old daughter, was strangled and set on fire by George Appleton, 40, after she broke off their relationship.
Police watchdogs concluded Ms Wood had been badly let down by ‘individual and systemic’ failures by Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
In the months before her murder she had repeatedly contacted GMP alleging Appleton had caused criminal damage, harassed her, threatened to kill her and tried to rape her.
Appleton, from Adelphi Court, had a history of violence towards women and was known to prowl online dating websites including Facebook, in search of partners.
(Manchester Evening News May 23 2011)
So the police let her down. She did all she could to protect herself but our police ‘service’ failed to properly assist her against a known thug.
Ms Wood was found dead at her home in Blackfriars on Friday. Police are hunting suspect George Appleton, 40.
A man had previously been arrested and bailed over the alleged assault.
(BBC Online February 11 2009)
A man (with a record of violence against women was arrested as a result of Clare Wood’s serious allegations… and then they bailed him??
Here’s how the pathetic Blears spins it in the Telegraph:
”Women in Clare’s situation are often 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.”
RIP, Clare. If you’re ever memorialised in law, I hope that its more appropriately directed at those whose failings led to your death instead of this proposed exercise in diverting attention away from them. Real empowerment would involve holding the state to account…