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Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS)

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The aim of the scheme is to give you information regarding your partner as to whether they have a history of domestic abuse and may pose a risk to you.

The scheme also allows for family members or a third party to make an application if they feel an individual known to them is at risk from their partner.

The scheme was introduced in March 2014 and is also known as ‘Clare’s Law’.

There are two ways in which a disclosure can be made under the scheme:

  • Right to Ask – a member of the public may make an application regarding a new or existing partner. Checks will be completed by the police and any information found will be referred to the local Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) for a decision as to whether a disclosure should be made.
  • Right to Know - a disclosure can be made where police or a partner agency comes across information that indicates an individual is at risk of domestic abuse. The information will be referred to a local MARAC for a decision on disclosure to be made.

DVDS Application

You can make an application under the scheme in the following ways:

Please call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.

You will initially be asked to provide information about yourself and who you are making the application for.

If your application meets the scheme criteria, a face to face visit will be held with you by an officer and more information will be obtained.

Relevant research will then be conducted and referred to a local MARAC, where a decision of disclosure will be made. If at any stage, the police identify that an individual is at immediate risk of harm, they can bypass the MARAC referral and make an immediate disclosure.

Any disclosed information must be treated as confidential and applicants cannot share this information with anyone else.

When considering a disclosure, all relevant persons will be informed.


Further Information

The gov.uk website provides further information about the scheme and the process that police forces follow.

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