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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.

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

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’.

If  there is information to suggest there is a risk, the police will consider sharing information with the person at risk.

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:

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme form

Further information is contained in this DVDS explanatory leaflet:

Clare's Law 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?

Enquiries can be made by sending an email to:

Professionals must include the following information:

  • name, date of birth, address of the person at risk and subject of the enquiry (i.e. The person they believe has a violent criminal history)
  • what they know
  • what are their concerns
  • what professional relationship they have / had with the person at risk
  • contact details
  • does the person know you are making this enquiry

Please where possible also detail what the person perceived to be at risk actually knows about the subjects history.

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.

Clare’s Law Information booklet

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

Page last updated: 11 January 2018