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The Home Office announced on 25 November 2013 that it would introduce a national domestic violence disclosure scheme, which would involve disclosing information about an individual’s history of domestic violence to a new partner. The scheme will provide a framework for police to disclose to individuals details of their partners’ abusive pasts. It will be extended to police forces across England and Wales from March 2014.

This follows a period of consultation and piloting. Proposals for action came following a campaign for a so-called “Clare’s law”, named after Clare Wood who was murdered in February 2009 by a man she had met on an internet dating site who had a history of violence.

On 5 March 2012, the Government published its response to the consultation, and announced that it would pilot the scheme. There had been mixed reactions to the proposal. A clear majority of respondents supported introducing a scheme, but some major domestic violence organisations and Liberty were strongly opposed, arguing that it represented a waste of resources which would be better spent improving the basic police response to domestic violence. Other domestic violence organisations welcomed the proposals, albeit with qualifications in some cases, as did the Association of Chief Police Officers and Clare Wood’s father.


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