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1 October 2014, 06:00
A Heart News investigation's found more than 200 people in the North east have used 'Clare's Law' to ask police if their partner has a history of abuse.
Police forces across the North East have had over 220 applications from people worries about their partner's history in the 6 months since Clare's Law was brought in.
Through the scheme, an individual can apply for information about a partner's previous history of domestic violence or violent behaviour.
Requests made under the scheme will be assessed by police forces to make sure a decision to disclose relevant information is lawful, proportionate and necessary.
Other people can also make an application if they have concerns for an individual.
Disclosure of information would be focussed on any person deemed to be at risk rather than the applicant.
This disclosure would also be lawful, proportionate and necessary.
If there is material of concern, those affected will be given help and support from a refuge or experienced domestic violence organisation.
Trained police officers and advisers will be on hand to support victims through the difficult and sometimes dangerous transitional period.
Named after Clare Wood, from Manchester (pictured below), who was murdered by her former partner five years ago who had a record of violence against women, the scheme is designed to provide people with information that may protect them from a potential future abusive situation and stop a similar tragedy.
Northumbria Police received the most applications in our region - over 170.
From these, 26 disclosures have been made.
Durham Police had 25 applications while Cleveland had 26.
Detective Superintendent Lisa Orchard from Northumbria Police said:
"Clare's Law is designed to give help to people who think their partner may be acting in a way that suggests they are somebody who is violent.
Requests for disclosures have to be carefully considered on an individual basis with the right support available for people when information is shared. However when disclosures are made, this allows someone to make a decision over whether to stay with a partner if they know they have a record of violence.
Domestic violence is often a hidden crime but those who commit it with one partner are likely to be violent with their next.
I hope the 26 disclosures we've made so far have helped people get away from a potentially abusive relationship which may in turn have saved their lives.
Domestic violence and abuse is a key priority for the force and we will continue to work closely with the Police and Crime Commissioner and our partners to provide advice and help support victims."
New powers to protect victims in the immediate aftermath of an incident of domestic violence were also introduced alongside Clare's Law.
Magistrates can grant Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) preventing perpetrators from contacting victims for up to 28 days.
There's more information about Clare's Law HERE