‘Clare’s Law’: more than 100 contact domestic violence scheme in Warwickshire and West Mercia

The scheme helps people concerned that a partner has a history of domestic violence
The scheme helps people concerned that a partner has a history of domestic violence

A total of 105 people have contacted Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police since the launch of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as Clare’s Law, in March.

The applications have been made from people concerned that a partner has a history of domestic violence.

Clare’s Law was introduced after a campaign by the father of murder victim Clare Wood to let people know about their partner’s violent past. Clare was murdered by her ex-boyfriend and she was unaware of his record of violence against women.

The scheme gives people the opportunity to apply for information about someone they are in a relationship with, or about someone in a relationship with someone they know. If records show that an individual may be at risk of domestic violence from a partner, the police will consider disclosing the information. A disclosure can be made if it is “legal, proportionate and necessary” to do so.

For example a mother or father could make an application on behalf of their daughter or son if they are concerned a new partner may be violent. If it is legal, proportionate and necessary to do so, information will be disclosed directly to the daughter or son concerned or to a third person for the purposes of protecting the son or daughter from domestic abuse.

Detective Chief Inspector Damian Pettit said: “The number of applications are pleasing, Clare’s Law helps to protect victims and their families and friends from the devastating consequences of domestic violence and abuse. Any disclosure will be part of a range of support measures Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police will put in place to support victims.”

A spokesman added: “Domestic abuse takes many forms and ultimately is about control. It is a pattern or any incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people who are or have ever been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.

“It can be psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional. You may be experiencing domestic abuse if your partner doesn’t allow you to control your finances, stops you seeing your family, controls your access to information, or even what you wear.

“We are urging people to visit one of the many support websites to find out more about domestic violence and abuse because by understanding the smaller things that may constitute domestic violence and abuse, those affected may be able to do something about it sooner.”

More information about domestic abuse is available for victims, perpetrators, friends and family, and young people on www.talk2someone.org.uk or by calling the Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse helpline on 0800 408 1552 or the Free phone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge.