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Clare's law - domestic violence disclosure

Clare’s Law, nationally known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, is named after Clare Wood who was murdered in 2009 by her ex-boyfriend who had a history of violence against men.

The disclosure scheme allows you to ask us about the information we hold on a person in relation to domestic abuse offences and convictions.

Disclosures provide you with the information we hold on an individual in relation to domestic abuse.

If our checks show that the individual has a record of violent behaviour, or there is other information to indicate someone may be at risk of harm, we will consider sharing this information with you.

Domestic abuse or violence disclosure guidance

Disclosures will only be given to the person best placed to protect the potential victim and who needs to know the details in order to keep them safe. For example, if you are a third party applicant who is worried about the safety of someone else, you may not necessarily be the best person to receive the information.

Our officers always aim to maintain the confidentiality of the applicant and we carefully plan all disclosures to minimise the risk of harm to those concerned. If you receive a disclosure, it should also be treated as confidential.

Please consider the fact that disclosure information is only being given to you so that you can protect yourself, or someone you know. For safety purposes, we ask you not to share the information unless you have been in contact with an officer and they have agreed.

You can use disclosures to;

  • keep yourself safe
  • keep children and those involved safe
  • ask what support is available
  • ask for advice on how to keep yourself safe.

Apply for domestic disclosure information

Domestic abuse or violence disclosure applications can be made by calling 101, visiting your local police station or by speaking to one of our officers on the street.

You can apply for information about your own partner or as a third party if you are concerned about the safety of someone you know.

Please be aware that if you are a third party applicant, you should have some form of relationship with the potential victim such as sibling, parent, friend, work colleague or neighbour. You must be able to provide details of the person who is potentially at risk of harm and the person who is thought to cause the risk.

Domestic disclosure application process

Once you have applied for disclosure information, we will carry out relevant checks as soon as we can. An officer will be assigned to your disclosure application and a visit will be arranged. This will include a face-to-face interview to verify your identification and gather further details.

Our aim is to complete all disclosure requests within 35 days but timescales do vary between applications. However, if we receive information which suggests someone is in immediate danger of domestic abuse or violence, appropriate action will be taken.

We may also meet with other safeguarding agencies such as the Probation Service, Prison Service or local council social services to discuss the information you have provided to see whether they have any other related information. This multi-agency meeting will decide whether providing a domestic violence disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate.

More information on domestic violence, protection orders and coercive or controlling behaviour can be found on GOV.UK.

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