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Clare’s Law sees 3,760 domestic violence enquiries made

More than 3,760 requests for information about domestic violence have been made since the implementation of ‘Clare’s Law’ last year.

According to figures obtained by the Press Association, over 1,335 of such requests led to a disclosure. The numbers were gathered using a series of Freedom of Information requests. However, as three police forces did not release their figures, the total is likely to be higher.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, commonly known as ‘Clare’s Law’, came into effect last March in England and Wales. It allows people concerned that their partner may have a history of domestic violence to check with the police.

If someone has “a record of abusive offences or there is other information that indicates that there is a pressing need to make a disclosure to prevent further crime”, the police are empowered to inform their partner if a request is made.

Information can be obtained one of two ways under Clare’s Law: either the ‘right to ask’ or the ‘right to know’. The former is when someone requests the information for themselves or on behalf of someone else. The ‘right to know’ cases are when the police actively disclose information without being asked.

The scheme was named after Clare Wood, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton back in 2009. She was unaware that Appleton had a history of violence in previous relationships. Her family have since campaigned for a change in the law and her father was said to be “quietly delighted” that it has been rolled out nationally.

For more information on Clare’s Law, click here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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