Calan DVS have previously written about the introduction of Clare’s Law in March of 2014, where it was expanded to introduce the scheme across England and Wales. Clare’s law, named after Clare Wood who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009, is a domestic abuse disclosure scheme. This means that any individual has the right to request information from the police regarding any history of domestic violence and abuse from their current partner. The scheme aims to make potential victims aware of the risks they may be facing, and make an informed decision. It was argued that if Clare Wood had known about her partner’s history of violence against women, then her murder could have been prevented.
The scheme has now been in operation on a national level for almost a year, and it has been reported that there has been at least 3,760 requests for information under Clare’s law, which has resulted in 1,335 disclosures of information. However, these figures are indicative of ‘right to ask’ information – where individuals specifically requested information about their partner, as well as ‘right to know’ where the police sought out individuals to actively warn them without being invited to do so.
Clare’s law is working to prevent as many individuals as possible from becoming victims at the hands of their own partner by making people aware of the potentially dangerous situation they are in, and providing them with the information they need to take any action before it becomes too late. However, there are suggestions that the domestic violence disclosure scheme is not being applied with the same best practice in all areas, as some police figures shows that 60% of requests for information were granted in one area, while 11% were granted in other areas.
Clare’s law is now also being piloted in Scotland, and will continue to provide vital information to individuals who are concerned for their welfare. However, as this pilot rolls out, and the scheme is continuing to be used across England and Wales, it is vital that any individual who is concerned about their partner’s behaviour and their own safety, is being offered the appropriate support and is referred to specialist services that will be able to offer help, even if it is concluded that no disclosure can be made.
To find out more about Clare’s Law, you can read our previous blog post here.