The Equation help centre is located on Dorking Road, Radford (credit: James Pringle)

A new campaign has been launched to raise awareness for the ‘Right to Ask’ as part of a government-backed Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.

Nottingham-based domestic abuse charity, Equation launched the campaign on Valentine’s Day and are working closely with local police to raise awareness for the scheme.

The ‘Right to Ask’ gives an individual the opportunity to ask police if a partner or potential partner has an abusive past, as the scheme recognises that most perpetrators of domestic abuse are repeat offenders.

Campaigns and Communications Manager at Equation, Frankie Skinner said: “We are pleased to be able to bring the Right to Ask scheme to Nottingham, it is a vital service for anyone who feels at risk in their relationships.

“The East Midlands has the second highest percentage of women victims of domestic abuse, and the highest number of men compared with the rest of the UK.”

She added: “We would rather people be safe and use their Right to Ask and not need it than need it and not use it.

“If you see the campaign on socials @equationorg, please share it. Domestic abuse is often hidden, and so you never know if someone following you could benefit from knowing about their Right to Ask.”

Frankie Skinner (middle) with two of her Equation colleagues, Rebecca Moon (left) and Charlotte Moonsamy (right) (Credit: Frankie Skinner)

How to use the Right to Ask scheme

Step One – Initial enquiry. You can do this with support from a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) Specialist, or directly with the police. You’ll be asked to give your name, address and date of birth.

Step Two – Accepting your request. You will be contacted and asked to provide some form of ID and sign an agreement. This agreement outlines who any information will be shared with and what it can, and can’t, be used for.

Step Three – Checks and Risk Assessment. The police will run checks and a risk assessment. If relevant information is found, they will meet with relevant agencies to discuss what information can be shared.

Step Four – The outcome. You will be contacted with the outcome confirming if there is, or is not, any information to be shared. If checks show that the person has a record of abusive offences, the police may disclose this information if they feel it can prevent future crimes. If there is information which can’t be shared, the police will consider other ways to keep the person at risk protected.

 

Press Officer for Nottinghamshire Police Susan Croft said: “The origins of the Right to Ask scheme date back to 2014 when the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme was implemented.

“We want to work closely with Equation to ensure awareness is raised for the scheme and that individuals feel comfortable requesting information that could save a life.”

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as ‘Clare’s Law”, allows police to disclose information to a victim or potential victim of domestic abuse about an individual’s previous abuse and past.

Founded in 1989, Equation is a specialist charity with expertise in working within the Nottinghamshire community to reduce the impact of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

They ensure that survivors get the most effective support to create space for action by facilitating a coordinated approach across the sector and providing practical tools and guidance to support survivors.

The ‘Right to Ask’ scheme is one of several ways Equation offers help to women, men, and children up to the age of 19.

Training and support is also offered to those wanting to enhance their professional skills when dealing with domestic abuse and sexual violence issues.

To find out more about Equation and the Right to Ask scheme, head to: https://equation.org.uk/about/