The NSW Government’s Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme will be extended until June 2019 following a two-year trial that resulted in more than 50 people learning of their partner’s violent past.
The Scheme, launched in April 2016 as an Australian first, helps people who may be at risk of domestic violence to find out whether their current or former partner has a history of violent criminal offences, such as stalking, physical and sexual assault, murder or manslaughter or breaching an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward and Minister for Police Troy Grant said the Scheme has empowered many people to make an informed decision, which could save their lives.
“We know that domestic and family violence is often characterised by a patternof abusive and controlling behaviours and that perpetrators often repeat these behaviours in subsequent relationships,” Ms Goward said.
“We want to prevent people from being kept in the dark about these patterns of abusive behaviour and it is promising that more than 50 people have successfully had this information disclosed to them.”
The Scheme will continue to operate in its four pilot sites of Shoalhaven, St George, Sutherland and Oxley.
Mr Grant said there are no innocent bystanders when it comes to domestic violence.
“If you are concerned that someone you know may be the victim of domestic violence, don’t stay silent. Family, friends, colleagues or neighbours can also apply for information as part of the Scheme,” he said.
More than 350 people have also been assisted by the wraparound crisis assistance support that is attached to the scheme and run by specialist organisations.