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‘Brave’ victim shines light on Clare’s Law after ‘horrendous’ attack

Amber being interviewed by ITV West Country journalist Rob Murphy.

The victim of a man serving a life sentence for raping and viciously assaulting her has spoken out to raise awareness of Clare’s Law.

Amber, from Taunton, has partially waivered her anonymity to talk about the horrific attack she was subjected to by her then-boyfriend Elias Arberry, 25.

Arberry, of Moorland Road, Taunton, pleaded guilty to seven offences, including four counts of rape, two of sexual assault and one of wounding with intent following the six-hour-long attack in May this year.

He was sentenced on Friday 14 October at Taunton Crown Court to life, with a minimum term of 15 and a half years.

This image shows Elias Arberry who has been handed a life sentence for a series of 'horrific' rape and sexual offences
Elias Arberry, of Moorland Road, Taunton, was handed a life sentence at Taunton Crown Court in October this year.

In an interview with ITV West Country, Amber spoke about what happened to her in the hope of encouraging more people to take advantage of Clare’s Law.

She said: “I was in fear for my life. I still say to this day there was something that kept me alive that day. But I am thankful, very thankful.

“Hindsight is nice, but I know for a fact that, if I had used Clare’s Law, I would not have been in this situation. I would have done everything in my power to get out of that relationship.”

Clare’s Law, known formally as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, allows police to disclose information about someone’s history of domestic abuse or violent acts to ‘the person who needs the information the most’.

The law was introduced in 2014 after Clare Wood was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Salford in 2009, who had previous convictions for serious assaults.

Becky Norton
DC Becky Norton speaking about Clare’s Law and working on the Elias Arberry case. Credit: Rob Murphy/ITV West Country

DC Becky Norton, who was one of the lead investigators in the Arberry case, said: “This is one of the most horrendous cases I have come across in my career.

“I didn’t know until this case that someone could treat another person in such a vile way – especially someone who he supposedly loved.

“Information is key. If you’re aware that the person you’re in a relationship with has a violent past or criminal history with domestic abuse, [via Clare’s Law] it means you can then make informed decisions yourself.

“It may give people the strength to walk away from a relationship and not be a victim of domestic abuse.”

A recording of a phone call Arberry made shortly after the incident.

Our Force Lead for Victims and Head of Victim Care, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Caple, said: “We are grateful to Amber for the courage and bravery she has shown in coming forward and speaking out to shine a light on such a valuable service like Clare’s Law. Her actions could save many partners in abusive or potentially abusive relationships.

“All applications to Clare’s Law are completely confidential, and no one will find out you have applied for the information. The safety of the person is our top priority. While we welcome requests from anyone who is worried about the risk of abuse to another person, we will only make disclosures to the person at risk.

“This ensures the person who needs the information the most, receives it. They will then be provided with all the safeguarding opportunities with support from our partners such as domestic abuse agencies.”

Reporting online about domestic abuse.
You can find out more about reporting domestic abuse on our website.

During the interview, which aired on Monday 12 December, Amber praised the police and partner agencies for the support she received.

She said: “Everyone at the police has supported me massively throughout this process. Every officer, male or female, made me feel comfortable and made every effort to support me, even working after hours to get this case to court.

“I was so scared and couldn’t believe what had happened to me. But I can now say I am proud of myself for coming forward and talking about this.”

To watch the full ITV News West Country report, visit Rape survivor speaks of ordeal after partner subjected her to ‘vile’ six hour attack | ITV News West Country

Amber being interviewed on ITV News West Country. Credit: Rob Murphy/ITV West Country

If you, or someone you know, may be in a relationship with a person who you believe to have an abusive history, please make use of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare’s Law).

You can visit a police station or contact us on 101 to make a request. We will soon be offering this service through online reporting in the new year.

To find out more information on how to report domestic abuse, please visit our website at Report domestic abuse | Avon and Somerset Police

If you are a victim of rape or sexual assault, please come forward. It is never too late to report offences to police.

Victims of rape or sexual assault, recent or non-recent, can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website at www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk or call 0117 342 6999.

You can also visit www.thisisnotanexcuse.org for details of charities and organisations who are experts in supporting victims.