A scheme that provides life changing information for victims is set to continue following a 12-month pilot.
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), better known as Clare’s Law was first launched in September last year. It gives victims the opportunity to apply for disclosure of an individual they are in a relationship with, or in a relationship with someone they know (right to ask).
Since its launch, 90 people have applied for a disclosure, a further 36 were submitted by agencies who felt somebody may be at risk (right to know). Of the 126 right to know and right to ask applications, 72 disclosures were made and 47 were non-disclosed owing to a partner either not having record of a violent past or that there was no information indicating a risk to the partner.
Tony Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “Greater Manchester was one of the pilot areas on this and quite rightly has made the decision to continue with the scheme. It’s one, and only one, of a number of measures being used to tackle domestic violence and do all we can to support victims. This sends a message that violence in the home is not acceptable and we all need to work together to challenge those who think otherwise.”
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable, Sir Peter Fahy, said: “I am pleased that this scheme has received the success that it has had so far. To know that there are 126 people who are better informed now thanks to it highlight its benefits to the wider public.
“All too often victims, families and friends suffer devastating consequences and schemes such as this are a welcome to us all in protecting victims and preventing further crime.
“To anyone in a relationship who is feeling suspicious I would say, trust your instincts. If you can see the warning signs take action, go with your gut and speak to police. Features to look out for are over controlling behaviour, the use of violence, public humiliation and objecting you from meeting friends and family. This is an opportunity for you to take back control and make the right decision on whether to stay in or leave your relationship.”
Clare’s Law can be used by anyone concerned over a partner’s abusive behaviour or those concerned about a friend or family member in a relationship and at risk of violence by their partner.
For further information about the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, or to make a request for information under it, contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or visit a police station. An officer will take details of what has prompted the enquiry and the nature of the relationship and will ask when and where it is safe to make contact again. The applicant will need to give their name, address and date of birth and some initial checks will be done to establish if there are any immediate concerns.
Following initial contact with the police, a face-to-face meeting may be set up to complete the application if deemed appropriate. This meeting will establish further details about the application in order to assess risk and confirm identity.
Working alongside the Prison Service, Probation Service and Social Services, the police will work as quickly as possible to complete checks.
A multi-agency meeting will then be set up to decide whether any disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate and if so, will decide who to disclose the information to and set up a safety plan tailored to the needs of the potential victim.
For further support on domestic abuse, visit endthefear.co.uk or call the Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
If there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, dial 999.