Clares Law

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) Clare’s Law

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS)
A new initiative has been launched giving people the ability to find out if their partner, or potential partner, has a history of abuse or violence.

  • What is it?
    The scheme is more commonly known as ‘Clare’s Law’ and commemorates Clare Wood who was murdered by her violent ex- partner, George Appleton, at her Salford home in 2009. Clare was unaware of Appleton’s history of violence against women and following her death her family campaigned for a change in the law to support actual, and potential, victims of domestic violence.

The scheme aims to prevent men and women from becoming victims of domestic violence and abuse by providing a formal method of making inquiries about an individual who they are in a relationship with or who is in a relationship with someone they know, and there is a concern that the individual may be abusive towards their partner.

  • The scheme works in two ways:
  1. Right to ask: Victims (potential and actual), third parties (parents, neighbours and friends) and agencies can all make requests under the scheme.
  2. Right to know: The police make a proactive decision to disclose details when they receive information to suggest a person could be at risk.
  • If police checks reveal the individual has a record for abusive offences or there is information to suggest a person is at risk, the police will give consideration to sharing this information with the person at risk or a person who is best placed to protect the potential victim.
  • The scheme aims to help the potential victim make an informed decision on whether to continue a relationship, and provides further help and support to assist them when making that choice.

How do I make a request for information?

To make an application you must contact the Police by:

  • dialling 101
  • speaking to a police officer or PCSO on the street
  • visiting a Police station

If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, you should always call 999.