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Clare’s Law aims to give individuals the opportunity to ask about their partner, or someone else's, if they are worried they may have been abusive or violent in the past. This is known as the ‘Right to Ask’.

Anyone can submit a 'Right to Ask' application including third parties who may be concerned about someone else. If there is information to suggest there is a risk, the police will consider sharing information with the person at risk.

Clare’s Law – named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009 – came into force across England and Wales in March 2014. Also referred to as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), it allows people to find out if their partner has a history of domestic abuse.

Clare was strangled and set on fire by her ex-boyfriend at her home in Greater Manchester. He had a history of domestic abuse – but Clare was unaware of it.

Professionals can also make an application where they have concerns about a person at risk of domestic abuse. This is known as the ‘Right to Know’.

A multi-agency panel will check every request for 'Right to Ask' and 'Right to Know' to make sure it is necessary and proportionate to make a disclosure. If it is agreed, a Police Officer from the Domestic Abuse & Safeguarding Team will provide the disclosure along with a support worker from Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) to offer help and support. The panel will convene every two weeks or more urgently should the need arise.

How do I make a ‘Right to Ask’ application?

Complete the form on the below link or visit a police station to collect one.

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme form

Further information is contained in this DVDS explanatory leaflet:

Right to Ask information leaflet

Note: It is envisaged that the maximum time that it will take to complete the whole process, including the disclosure of information if decided necessary, is 35 days. The applicant will be updated with the disclosure decision.

How do I make a ‘Right to Know’ application?

This scheme is for the Police or a professional working for a partner agency (e.g. Social Care, Education, GDASS, 2Gether Trust) to make a referral in order to safeguard a person who may be at risk from their partner.

For details on how to make an application, please refer to your local safeguarding protocol.

Note: If the decision is made to disclose under this strand of the scheme, then police may consider disclosing the information to you or another person who they consider best placed to protect you.

Information booklet

Please click here to view our booklet on the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.

Page last updated: 29 August 2018