Domestic Violence Disclosure Schemes (Clare’s Law): Victim/ Survivor Perspectives

Dr Charlotte Barlow1

1Lancaster University, Law School, Lancaster, UK

Domestic Violence Disclosure Schemes (DVDS) were rolled out across England and Wales in 2014 following a high-profile public campaign for their introduction after the murder of Clare Wood in 2009 (hence Clare’s Law) by her partner who was found to have a history of violence unknown to her. Since this time, there has been a rapid expansion of similar schemes across the Northern hemisphere in particular, including pilots taking place in two states in Australia. The Domestic Abuse Bill (2021) in England and Wales plans to put these schemes on a statutory footing. Yet the efficacy of such schemes is highly contested and whilst some work has examined the principles underpinning them (Fitz-Gibbon and Walklate, 2016) and other work has explored practitioner’s views of them (Duggan, 2018) with the exception of work in NSW, Australia there no research to data exploring the victim/survivors perceptions and/or experiences of accessing DVDS. This paper will explore the early findings of a British Academy funded project, which involved speaking with women about their experiences and perceptions of Clare’s Law. It will critically reflect on who DVDS work for, under what circumstances, and the extent to which such schemes and the criminal justice system more broadly are able to empower women and keep them safe.


Bio to come


Dec 08 2021