The BBC reported this week that following the introduction of Clare’s Law over 1,300 domestic abuse disclosures have been made.
Clare’s Law is a scheme which allows people to find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence and was named after Clare Wood. Tragically Clare was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009.
The changes to the law came into force across England and Wales in 2014. The formal name for Clare’s Law is the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. Under this scheme both men and women can request information about their partner. Parties such as friends and relatives can also make such requests if they are “concerned”.
Police and other agencies, including Social Services, must then consider if they are in a position to release information on someone’s past. They can do so provided it is deemed as “necessary, lawful and proportionate” to protect someone from their partner. The introduction of this scheme was to pilot test a number of police areas.
It is perhaps noteworthy however that Polly Neate, the Chief Executive of the charity Woman’s Aid commented that “any women asking for a disclosure under Clare’s Law is clearly already concerned about her relationship, and she should be referred to a specialist service so that she can get support with her concerns, even if no disclosure can be made”.
Our family solicitors are experienced in helping the victims of abuse to obtain the full protection that the law has to offer, as well as advising them about other support services that are available to help them come to terms with their experiences.
Mark Smith is a member of Resolution and is an accredited specialist family lawyer in private law children issues and domestic abuse. Mark can be contacted on 01392 210700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org