The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) is often called ‘Clare’s Law’ after the landmark case that led to it. Clare’s Law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them. Under Clare’s Law, a member of the public can also make enquiries into the partner of a close friend or family member.

The application process

Once an application is made, police and partner agencies will carry out a range of checks.

If these reveal a record of abusive offences, or suggest a risk of violence or abuse, we'll consider sharing this information.

Our aim is to help people to make a more informed decision on whether to continue a relationship and provide help and support when making that choice.

If we decide to reveal what we find, also called making a 'disclosure', this will usually be to the person at risk. This is unless, in the circumstances, someone else is better placed to use the information to protect the person at risk from abuse.

There may be occasions when we won't let you know whether a disclosure has or hasn't been made.

Any disclosure will be made in person; none of the disclosure is made in writing and you won't be given any documents.

How to make an application under Clare's Law

To make an application you can either:

  • call 101 and ask to make a Clare's Law/domestic violence disclosure scheme application. 
  • email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk.
  • go to a police station and ask to make a Clare's Law/domestic violence disclosure scheme application.
  • download and complete a copy of our domestic violence disclosure scheme form and email it to us. Please put 'DVDS' in the subject line of your email.

We'll take the details of what prompted your enquiry and talk you through the next steps.

You'll need to give your:

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth

A safe means of contacting you will be established and we'll carry out some initial checks to make sure there's no immediate concern, if there is, or if you tell us a crime has taken place, we may act on it.

For more information about Clare's Law, read our booklet and watch our video.