Domestic violence law widens

A law enabling people to check the police records of their partners - which was trialled in Nottingham - is to be used across the country. Clare's Law was named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her boyfriend and unaware of his violent past.

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How Clare's Law protects women from domestic abuse

Step One: Initial contact - police take details on what prompted an enquiry and the nature of a relationship before running initial checks and a risk assessment.

Step Two: Face to face meeting - to gather more information. Police may run checks with other agencies including the prison service, the probation and social services.

Clare Wood was strangled by her ex-boyfriend. Credit: PA

Step Three: Multi agency meeting - police meet other safeguarding agencies (such as the probation service, prison service, social services). They decide whether disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate to protect a person.

Step four: Potential disclosure - if checks show a record for abusive offences or disclosure would prevent further crime, the police may disclose information to protect a potential victim.


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More than 300 people contact police using 'Clare's Law'

Over 300 applications for information about a potentially violent boyfriend or girlfriend were made to police using Clare's Law, it has emerged.

The right to ask scheme was piloted in Greater Manchester, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire and Gwent, over a 14 month period starting in the summer of last year.

During that time:

  • There were 386 applications for information.
  • Police made 111 disclosures - a 29% disclosure rate.
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May: Clare's Law will prevent abuse ending in 'tragedy'

Theresa May has said Clare's Law will provide people with the information they need to escape abusive situations before it "ends in tragedy".

The pilot scheme, named after Clare Wood who was strangled and set on fire by her boyfriend, will allow women to check police records to see if a partner has a violent background.

Theresa May revealed that 88 women were killed by a violent partner or ex-partner last year Credit: PA Wire/Oli Scarff

The Home Secretary revealed that 88 women were killed by a violent partner or ex-partner last year, and said there was "considerable confusion" about when or if police can share information on someone's violent past with the public.

"Domestic abuse shatters lives - Clare's Law provides people with the information they need to escape an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy," she told The Sun.

"The national scheme will ensure that more people can make informed decisions about their relationship and escape if necessary. This is an important step towards ensuring we do better by women like Clare Wood in the future."

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