Domestic violence law widens

'Clare's Law', which aims to protect women from domestic violence, is to be rolled out nationwide after a successful pilot in four parts of the country, the Government will announce today.

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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.


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."

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.

'Clare's Law' set to make women safer across the UK

Clare Wood was strangled and set on fire by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Credit: ITV Granada

A scheme which allows people to approach police to find out if their partner has a history of domestic abuse is to be rolled out nationwide, ministers are expected to say later today.

Four police forces successfully piloted "Clare's Law", which allows concerned men and women the right to ask police if their partner has a history of domestic violence.

Forces in Gwent, Wiltshire, Greater Manchester and Nottinghamshire have been running the scheme since the summer last year and ministers are today expected to tell Parliament that it should be extended.

The law is named after Clare Wood, who was strangled and set on fire in 2009 by her boyfriend, George Appleton, who had a history of violence against women.

Read more: Women make use of Clare's law

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