The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, or 'Clare’s Law' as it’s known, gives people the right to find out if their partner has been violent and if they are at risk of being hurt.
Proposals for action came following a campaign for a so-called ‘Clare’s Law’, named after Clare Wood who was murdered in February 2009 by a man she had met on an internet dating site who had a history of violence.
Under Claire's Law:
- You can ask the police for information about your partner or ex-partner.
- You can use the information to decide if you want to stay in the relationship.
- The police can give you help and support.
If you are at risk of being hurt, a plan will be put in place to keep you safe.
Who can ask for information?
A disclosure under this scheme involves the sharing of specific information about an individual, with the person making the application, or a third person, to protect a potential victim from domestic violence.
- Anyone can make an application about a person who is in an intimate relationship, where there is a concern that person may harm their partner
- Any concerned third party, such as a parent, neighbour or friend can make an application not just the potential victim
- However, the third party making the application would not necessarily receive any information about the individual concerned. It may be more appropriate for someone else to receive the information, such as the victim or another person who is best placed to protect a potential victim.
How do I make an application?
Anyone can make an application to the police about a person who is in an intimate relationship with someone where there is a concern that the person may present a risk of harm to their partner. Contact the police to make an application. Initially you can contact us to enquire about the scheme by:
- Visiting a police station
- Phoning 101, the non-emergency number for the police
- Speaking to a police officer on the street.
If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, you should always call 999.
What information will the police need?
The police will need to know:
- Your name
- Your address (where you live)
- Your date of birth
They will also need to see some identification. This can be:
- Your passport
- Driving licence
- A bill
- Birth certificate
- Bank statement
What happens next?
- The police will ask you some questions about your partner / ex-partner.
- The police will talk to other organisations who may have information about your partner / ex-partner.
- There will be a meeting with all the organisations to decide what information can be given to you.
- The police will decide if you need to be kept safe and how this will happen.
- There may not be any information about your partner / ex-partner.
- If you are worried, the police will give you advice and tell you about people who can support you.
- It may take the police up to 35 days before they give you any answers or information.
- If you are told that your partner may be violent, you must only tell the people the police safe
Further information can be found in the 'Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - Find out more' booklet.