Clare’s Law

Domestic abuse affects people from all walks of life and in many different ways. Find out what's considered as domestic abuse, how to report it and how, under Clare’s Law, you can find out if a partner has a history of domestic violence or abuse. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is often called ‘Clare’s Law’ after the landmark case that led to it. Clare’s Law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them.

Although, the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme does not replace Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks, subject access or freedom of information (FOI) requests and the new Disclosure and Barring Service. 

Domestic Abuse Bill

The government reintroduced the Domestic Abuse Bill in parliament on 3rd March 2020. The Bill completed its Report Stage and Third Reading on 6th July 2020 and was voted through by the House of Commons. The Bill will now be debated in the House of Lords, going through the same sequence of readings and stages as in the Commons, before it receives Royal Assent and becomes law.

The bill has the potential to create significant change in the national response, to create a more effective approach to tackling domestic abuse.

The Home Office Blog states that The Bill will:

Create a statutory definition of domestic abuse, emphasising that domestic abuse is not just physical violence, but can also be emotional, coercive or controlling, and economic abuse. As part of this definition, children will be explicitly recognised as victims if they witness abuse establish a Domestic Abuse Commissioner, to stand up for victims and survivors, raise public awareness, monitor the response of local authorities, the justice system and other statutory agencies and hold them to account in tackling domestic abuse.

Provide for a new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Domestic Abuse Protection Order, which will prevent perpetrators from contacting their victims, as well as force them to take positive steps to change their behaviour, e.g. seeking mental health support place a duty on local authorities in England to provide support to victims of domestic abuse and their children in refugees and other safe accommodation.

Prohibit perpetrators of abuse from cross-examining their victims in person in courts in England and Wales bring the case of R vs Brown into legislation, invalidating any courtroom defence of consent where a victim suffers serious harm or is killed create a statutory presumption that victims of domestic abuse are eligible for special measures in the criminal courts (for example, to enable them to give evidence via a video link).

Enable domestic abuse offenders to be subject to polygraph testing as a condition of their licence following their release from custody place the guidance supporting the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (“Clare’s law”) on a statutory footing ensure that when local authorities rehouse victims of domestic abuse, they do not lose a secure lifetime or assured tenancy extend the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the criminal courts in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to further violent and sexual offences.

Detailed factsheets on each point are available on

Domestic Abuse Bill 2020: factsheets These factsheets provide more information about each of the provisions in the act.

Olive Pathway will continue to support and ensure that service users are able to escape to safety and access the support they need to cope and recover from any form of abuse. Covid-19 has had an impact on vulnerable women and children experiencing domestic abuse and demonstrated the urgent need for change. Olive Pathway will continue to raise its voice to ensure that the bill must be underpinned by sustainable funding for life-saving specialist support services if it is to make a real difference to survivors’ lives.

The Destitution Domestic Violence (DDV) Concession

On 1 April 2012 the UK Border Agency (UKBA) introduced the Destitution Domestic Violence (DDV) concession to replace The Sojourner Project. A person who successfully qualifies for this concession will receive temporary leave for three months, which allows them to apply for access to public funds (including jobseeker’s allowance, income support and housing benefit). During this three month period the person should make a separate application for indefinite leave to remain under the Domestic Violence Rule.

There are strict eligibility criteria for the concession, which applies to single adults and adults with children. To meet the UKBA’s criteria a person must:

- Have entered the UK or been given leave to remain as a spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner of a British citizen or someone present and settled in the UK; and

Have had that relationship break down due to domestic violence; and - Be destitute and in need of financial help; and

Intend to make a claim to stay permanently in the UK under the Domestic Violence Rule.

- Spouses of EEA nationals do not fall within the scope of the concession and, at the present time, it does not cover the spouses of Commonwealth soldiers resident in the UK.

A person who meets the eligibility requirements can notify UKBA of their need to access public funds by submitting the ‘protecting victims of domestic violence’ notification form, which is available online at:

The notification form can be emailed or posted to UKBA, but email is recommended where possible, since notifications submitted by post are processed more slowly.