Clare’s Law abuse scheme rolled out across Scotland from today

The scheme which allows people to be told if their partner has been violent in the past has been introduced in Scotland from today.

Police Scotland’s Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse (DSDAD), also known as ‘Clare’s Law’, was trialed for six months in Ayrshire and Aberdeen and saw 22 people warned that their partners had a history of domestic abuse.

Clare’s Law was introduced across England and Wales in March 2014 and is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Salford, Greater Manchester in 2009. She was unaware of his history of violence against women.

Her father, Michael Brown, has campaigned for people to have the right to ask for information about partners, and for the police and other agencies to have the power to report if there are areas of concern.

Michael Brown said: “I very much welcome the national roll-out of the disclosure scheme across Scotland. It is heartening to see the success of the pilots and to know that the people given these disclosures will now hopefully not be victims of domestic abuse.

“Saving lives and protecting people has to be our ultimate aim, this is what makes all of our efforts worthwhile.”

Police Scotland say the new law will empower both men and women with the right to ask about the background of their partner, potential partner or someone who is in a relationship with someone they know.

In the past, it could have been difficult for someone entering a new relationship to find out or be aware if their partner had prior convictions for violence or domestic abuse.

Now, if police checks show that the individual has a record of abusive behaviour; or there is other information to indicate the person you know is at risk, the police will consider sharing this information with those ‘best placed’ to protect potential victims.

Requests can be made via a form on the Police Scotland website and disclosures be triggered by friends, relatives, social workers or police officers.

The news follows the recent introduction of the Ask, Validate, Document and Refer (AVDR) programme which secured government funding to deliver domestic abuse training. This programme, set up by Medics Against Violence and the Violence Reduction Unit, trains professionals to spot the signs of domestic abuse and raise it with clients during a routine check-up or visit in a private setting.

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