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Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme: Clare's Law

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is also known as Clare's Law after Clare Wood, who was killed in 2009 by an ex-partner who unknown to her had been violent to previous partners.

What is the Domestic Violence Disclosure scheme?

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.

The case brought to national attention the issue of disclosing information about an individual's history of domestic violence to a new partner. 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.

It aims to prevent men and women from becoming victims of domestic violence and abuse by providing a formal method of making enquiries 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:

Staffordshire Police is empowering potential victims of domestic abuse with the right to ask about their partner. In the past, it could have been difficult for someone entering a new relationship to find out or be aware if their partner had prior convictions for violence or domestic abuse.

  • Right to ask: Victims (potential and actual), third parties (parents, neighbours and friends) and agencies can all make requests under the scheme.
  • 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 an application?

You can make an application by contacting the police in one of the following ways: