Domestic Abuse Campaign Launched in West Yorkshire

Police are encouraging people to us their 'right to ask' about their current or ex-partner's violent pasts.

A new campaign is being launched today at a multi-agency conference at Leeds City Museum. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - otherwise known as Clare's Law - has been in place in West Yorkshire since 2014.It gives anyone over the age of 16 the 'right to ask' to check whether their partner or ex-partner has a history of domestic abuse.
The campaign encourages people to use this 'right to ask', to make sure they're not at risk. 
It was officially  launched in 2012 on International Women's day. It was named after Clare Wood who was killed by George Appleton - who had a history of violence against women - in 2009.

As well as the right to ask, there is also the 'right to know', which gives the police the ability to instantly show information to someone who has formed a relationship with someone who is known to have a history of domestic abuse. 

Superintendent Jon Morgan, of West Yorkshire Police's Safeguarding Central Governance Unit, said: "Any disclosure of information under Clare's Law has to be carefully considered to ensure it is lawful, proportionate and necessary. Where it is decided that it is appropriate for information to be disclosed, this allows potential victims to make an informed choice as to whether to continue the relationship."

Applications can be made by males or females over the age of 16-years old in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. A multi-agency decision will be taken if the police checks show that the partner or ex-partner has a record of domestic abuse, or there is information to prove that the applicant may be at risk.

A family member, neighbour or friend can also make an application if they are worried about someone they know. But they may not get the information. 

The number of 'right to ask' and 'right to know' requests and disclosures are published quarterly, with 53 'right to ask' requests, with 14 disclosures from July to September 2018. In 2017 there were 101 'right to ask' requests and 46 disclosures. A significant increase from previous years,

Mark Burns - Williamson, the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: "Support for victims and survivors runs through every aspect of my police and Crime Plan and this also extends to any preventative measures which can be taken to remove people from abusive relationships at the first opportunity.

"We are constantly listening to feedback from those effected by these types of abuses and crimes, allowing us to develop our responses in a way that best meets people's needs.

"It is a theme that I continue to raise awareness around, and have recently provided money to seven local groups that tackle domestic abuse under the latest round of my Safer Communities Fund."

You can make a request for information under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme by visiting a police station, phoning 101 or talking to an officer.

For more information about the scheme and for help and advice, you can follow the link to the West Yorkshire Police Website.

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