The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) is often called ‘Clare’s Law’ after the landmark case that led to it. Clare’s Law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them. Under Clare’s Law, a member of the public can also make enquiries into the partner of a close friend or family member.
- ‘right to ask’ – this enables someone to ask the police about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence or violent acts. A precedent for such a scheme exists with the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme; and
- ‘right to know’ – police can proactively disclose information in prescribed circumstances.
The application process
Once an application is made, police and partner agencies will carry out a range of checks.
If these reveal a record of abusive offences, or suggest a risk of violence or abuse, we’ll consider sharing this information.
Our aim is to help people to make a more informed decision on whether to continue a relationship and provide help and support when making that choice.
If we decide to reveal what we find, also called making a ‘disclosure’, this will usually be to the person at risk. This is unless, in the circumstances, someone else is better placed to use the information to protect the person at risk from abuse.
There may be occasions when we won’t let you know whether a disclosure has or hasn’t been made.
Any disclosure will be made in person; none of the disclosure is made in writing and you won’t be given any documents.
How to make an application under Clare’s Law
To make an application you’ll need to call 101; we’ll take the details and talk you through the next steps.
You’ll need to give your:
- date of birth