published on 07 August 2019
Domestic violence affects one in three women and one in four men.
You can find out if your partner has a history of abuse through a Clare's Law Disclosure.
This scheme enables a person to find out information about their partner's previous domestic history.
There are two ways to request information:
1. Right to ask - a person has a right to ak if their partner has a previous domestic history
2. Right to know - a person has the right to know if their partner has a previous domestic history. This is triggered when Police receive information from a third party. The Police will judge if a dsclosure should be made to safeguard that person.
No other person will receive the information about your partner.
This is to help you make an informed decision on whether to continue a relationship, and provides further help and support to help when making that choice.
How do I make an application?
1. Phone 101, and request to speak with Cleveland Police, this is the non-emergency number.
If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to yourself, or it is an emergency, you should always call 999.
2. Visit any Police Station.
3. Speak with one of the support agencies or find out more information on Clare's Law by visiting the Cleveland Police web site.
You will be asked the nature of your relationship with your partner, together with both your names, addresses and dates of birth. They will also ask you when and where it is safe to make contact with you again.
The disclosure scheme is confidential, you are the only person who will be given this information, and no one will know you have requested it. No information will be given in the presence of your partner.
A third party application?
Any concerned third party, such as parents, neighbours, friends or support agencies can make an application by following the same process as above.
If someone else applies, they will not receive any information about your partner.
What happens next?
Checks will be run based on the information provided and an initial risk assessment conducted. The initial checks enable the Police to establish if there are any immediate concerns.
The Police will act immediately, if, at any point they consider you to be at risk and in need of protection from harm.
If you recieve a disclosure, it must be treated as confidential. Failure by you to keep this information confidential may result in legal proceedings being instigated against you, depending on the circumstances.
You should be aware that it is an offence (under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998) for a person to 'knowingly or recklessly obtain or disclose personal data without the consent of the data controller', which in this case is usually the Police.
Disclosure is given to you so that you can take steps to protect yourself. If you feel you need to share the information with any other person, you must seek permission from the Disclosing Officer during the disclosure meeting.
Subject to the condition that the information is kept confidential, you can:
1. Use the information to keep yourself and others safe
2. Ask what support is available
3. Ask who you should contact if you think others are at risk
4. Ask for advice on how to keep yourself and others safe
The police may decide not to give you information if they think you will discuss it with others. However the police will still take steps to protect you if you are at risk of harm.
It may be that information held on your partner is not sufficient to demonstrate a pressing need for disclosure. If there is insufficient information to indicate they pose a risk of harm to you, but they are nevertheless showing worrying behaviour, the Police or other support agency can work to protect you by providing advice and support.
A face to face meeting will be arranged to give disclosure and you will be asked to provide proof of your identity. This should comprise of a photo ID and another form of ID ( if photo ID is not available, the Police will consider other forms of ID).
The forms of ID that could be used are:
1. Your passport
2. Your driving licence
3. Your birth certificate
You should be aware that Police checks or any disclosure made is not a gurarentee of safety. We will however make sure you are aware of what local and national support is available and will work together with partner agencies to protect you.