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Great Harwood domestic violence victim welcomes Clare's Law
A VICTIM of domestic violence has welcomed the introduction of a new law allowing women to check their partner’s criminal history.
Amanda Cardwell, who suffered at the hands of two boyfriends, said Clare’s Law, which comes into force today, will help her move on from her abusive past when she is ready to start a new relationship.
The national domestic abuse disclosure scheme, inspired by Clare Wood, who was killed by a man she met on Facebook, will allow those who are concerned about their’s partner’s history to contact the police and request information.
Miss Cardwell, 43, said: “I think it is fantastic. I have been in two bad relationships and obviously I am going to have trust issues.
“I really think Clare’s Law will help me in the future.”
The employee at Metflex, in Great Harwood, first became a victim of domestic abuse when she became pregnant with her first child.
Her boyfriend dragged her around by the hair and would try to stop her going out.
When Miss Cardwell’s daughter was three, the situation came to a head.
She said: “He tried to strangle me and he switched on all of the gas appliances.
“I had to run to a local takeaway to get away. The police were called and I was taken to my sister’s.
“I felt completely on my own and I did not tell my family about a lot of stuff that went on.”
Her attacker pleaded guilty to assault by beating and harassment and was given a suspended prison sentence and a restraining order.
In 2001, Miss Cardwell met a new partner who warned her he had a conviction for assaulting a child and she promised that if he ever hit her, she would leave him.
She said: “The relationship was fine and he moved in with me.
“I told him from the beginning that if he hit me, that would be it and I would walk away, but unfortunately that did not happen.”
Among the assaults she suffered were being hit in the face with a tin, having a knife held to her throat, being hit around the head with a bottle and being punched in the knees.
Her abuser even drove at her in his car.
The mum-of-two said: “I was really frightened. I knew what he was like and I knew his temper.
“I did not trust him and we were always worrying.”
The attacker was arrested and sent to prison for 16 months for criminal damage and dangerous driving.
Miss Cardwell was offered support from the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley domestic violence charity and she urged anybody who was going through anything similar to get help.
She said: “Getting help was the best thing I did.
“It has been hard and it still is hard, but my kids are happier so it was all worth it.
The launch of Clare’s Law coincides with International Women’s Day.
To apply for the type of information covered by the legislation, call the police on 101, visit a police station or talk to an officer.
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