Greater Manchester marks two years since launch of Clare’s Law

victim of domestic violence

More than 270 people have requested potentially life-saving information since the domestic violence disclosure scheme was first piloted.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), also known as Clare’s Law gives victims the opportunity to apply for information about someone they are in a relationship with (right to ask), or in a relationship with someone they know (right to know).

It was first piloted in September 2012 and since its launch, GMP has received 205 applications under the right to ask and 71 applications submitted by agencies who felt somebody may be at risk (right to know).  Of the right to know and right to ask applications, 164 disclosures were made.

Tony Lloyd said: “Tackling domestic violence is a shared responsibility – we all have a part to play to eradicate it.

“Clare’s Law is one of the valuable tools that helps people take control back of their own lives and has made a real difference here in Greater Manchester. Although there is still much more to be done by police and others to improve services to victims of domestic violence, Clare’s Law is a huge step in ensuring the law supports victims and punishes perpetrators.

“We have to continue to urge members of the public to come forward and seek help. If you are being subjected to controlling behaviour you should seek help as early as possible, either from family and friends or from the police. Everyone has the right to live free from fear.”

Tony Lloyd with Superintendent Emily Higham

Tony Lloyd with Superintendent Emily Higham

Detective Superintendent Emily Higham from Greater Manchester Police said: “The results of this scheme are pleasing, especially when considering the number of people who are better informed thanks to its success.

“The initiative helps to protect victims, families and friends from devastating consequences while also enabling women to take informed action about their relationships and the opportunity to protect them.

“Nationally, two women a week die due to domestic abuse and our aim is to help victims regain control of their lives and move forwards to secure a safer and happier future.

“If anyone is in a relationship and wants to make an informed decision about the relationship or has any concerns, it is important to break the silence and trust your instincts. Spot the warning signs such as controlling behaviour, the use of violence, public humiliation and objecting to you meeting friends and family. This is an opportunity for you to take back control and make the right decision on whether to stay with your partner or leave the 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.

Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd, said: “Tackling domestic violence is a shared responsibility – we all have a part to play to eradicate it.

“Clare’s Law is one of the valuable tools that helps people take control back of their own lives and has made a real difference here in Greater Manchester. Although there is still much more to be done by police and others to improve services to victims of domestic violence, Clare’s Law is a huge step in ensuring the law supports victims and punishes perpetrators.

“We have to continue to urge members of the public to come forward and seek help. If you are being subjected to controlling behaviour you should seek help as early as possible, either from family and friends or from the police. Everyone has the right to live free from fear.”

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 your nearest police station. An officer will take details on what has prompted the inquiry 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 partner agencies, the police will work as quickly as possible to complete checks.

A multi-agency meeting convenes 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 any immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, dial 999.

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