This scheme allows a member of the public to make an enquiry into the partner of a close friend or family member.
Please note: The Clare’s Law Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) scheme does not replace: CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) Checks, DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks, subject access requests or FOI requests.
The aim of Clare’s Law is to give you information regarding your current or ex-partner as to whether they have a history of violence and abusive offending that may pose a risk to you.
A disclosure can also be requested by a third party - a family member, friend, colleague or neighbour can apply for a disclosure to protect someone they believe to be at risk from their partner. The scheme, which launched in 2014, is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her former partner in Greater Manchester in 2009.
A Domestic Violence Disclosure can provide potentially life-saving information to help people to make a more informed decision about whether to continue the relationship they’re in.
There are two ways in which a disclosure can be made under the scheme:
Right to Ask – a member of the public may make an application regarding a current or ex-partner. Checks will be completed by the police and any information found will be referred to the local Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) for a decision as to whether a disclosure should be made.
Right to Know - a disclosure can be made where police or a partner agency comes across information that indicates an individual is at risk of domestic abuse. The information will be referred to a local MARAC for a decision on disclosure to be made.
You can make an application under the scheme in the following ways:
By completing our online DVDS application form.
By calling 101 and asking to make a DVDS application.
By attending your local police station and asking to make a DVDS application.
Please call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.
You will initially be asked to provide information about yourself and who you are making the application for.
If your application meets the scheme criteria, a face to face visit will be held with you by an officer and more information will be obtained.
Relevant research will then be conducted and referred to a local MARAC, where a decision of disclosure will be made. If at any stage, the police identify that an individual is at immediate risk of harm, they can bypass the MARAC referral and make an immediate disclosure.
Any disclosed information must be treated as confidential and applicants cannot share this information with anyone else.
When considering a disclosure, all relevant persons will be informed.
Read our Clare’s Law booklet for details on the process and other support and helplines.