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Clares Law - Use your 'right to ask'

A law protecting potential victims of domestic abuse and violence is working successfully in Wirral.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), otherwise known as ‘Clare’s Law’, gives members of the public the ‘right to ask’ about a partner or family member’s history of domestic abuse.

In Wirral, DVDS (right to ask) requests rose by more than 300% between April 2016 and March 2018. ‘Right to know’ requests raised by safeguarding partners also rose by 180%.

These figures indicate that more people are becoming aware of the law and are being encouraged to exercise their right to ask if they have worries about a new romantic partner.

The law was implemented following the tragic murder of Clare Wood by her ex-partner in Salford in 2009. Clare’s perpetrator had a history of domestic abuse and violence against women.

Detective Sergeant Judith Parkinson said:  “Right to Ask requests have increased in Merseyside since 2016. We hope that through the continued hard work of professional domestic abuse services alongside Merseyside Police that more people will feel comfortable to use their Right to Ask and put forward requests.”

The scheme is aimed at disclosure and risk management. The focus is being able to check whether a new partner has previous convictions for violent offenses and/ or if there is information held about their behaviour, which reasonably leads police and partners to believe that the perpetrator poses a risk to the victim.

If you have concerns and would like to apply for information to help protect yourself or another, there are several ways in which you can access this information:-

  • Call in to your local police station. This can be found on the Merseyside Police website – www.merseyside.police.uk by searching under the 'Your Area' pages
  • Telephone Merseyside Police by dialling 101
  • Remember, in an emergency dial 999