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You may be able to find out if your current or former partner has a history of violent criminal offences.

This will help you see if you are at risk of domestic violence, and help you decide whether you want to stay in the relationship.

A person who has been violent in a relationship in the past usually repeats the pattern of abusive and controlling behaviours in other relationships.

About the DVDS

The NSW Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) is not a register or a list. It's a way to get information about a person’s proven violent criminal history.

If you apply for information through the Scheme, the NSW Police conduct criminal record checks on your partner or former partner and process your application within 2 weeks. The person you are inquiring about will not be told that you have made an application.

If NSW Police believe you are at risk of harm, that your life or your safety is in serious threat, you will be told within 48 hours.

Information about a partner or former partner's criminal history will be given to you in person, at a safe location. A domestic violence support worker will be there to support you. You can also bring along to the meeting your own support person such as a friend, family member, or counsellor.

Eligible scheme areas

The Scheme is only available in the following NSW Police Force Local Area Commands (LAC):

  • Oxley (Tamworth region)
  • Shoalhaven (Nowra region)
  • Sutherland (Menai, Engadine, Sutherland region)
  • St George (Kogarah, Hurstville region)

A complete list of suburbs is available on page 7 of the application form.

Eligibility to apply

You must be aged 16 years or older and:

  • be dating, married, engaged, separated, divorced, de facto, or promised under cultural or religious tradition to your current or former partner
  • or be in a relationship (same or different gender) that may or may not be sexual

If you are applying on behalf of someone else or a concerned third party, you must be:

  • aged 16 years or older
  • be a family member, a friend, or a professional and have an ongoing relationship with the person who may be at risk.

How to apply

Use the Application to receive information about my current or former partner if you want to find out if your current or former partner has a violent criminal history. If you are applying for information about a former partner, you must still be in touch with them or have regular contact.

Use the Application for someone I am concerned about to receive information if you are a concerned friend or family member, or a professional such as a doctor. You must have an ongoing relationship with the person who may be at risk. Be aware that only the person at risk will be told of their partner or former partner's criminal history.

Once you complete the application form, you will need to take it to a participating police station. Search for the address of a police station online or call 131 444.

Please make sure that you keep any information that you have downloaded or printed from this page in a private and safe place. It's also advisable to delete any downloaded documents from the “Downloads” folders on your computer. Read more about staying safe online.

If you are in immediate danger, call Triple Zero 000

What kind of information will I get?

NSW Police will tell you the relevant offence the person has committed and the date of the conviction. Relevant convictions are for personal violence offences that happened in a relationship, for example:

  • breaching an ADVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order)
  • property damage
  • stalking and intimidation
  • physical and sexual assault
  • murder and manslaughter

You will also be told of any offences that happened outside of a relationship, including:

  • sexual offences
  • child abuse offences
  • murder

You won't be told about

  • offences that were committed outside of NSW
  • juvenile convictions
  • offences that didn't result in a conviction
  • Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO)

More information

More information about the NSW Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is available:

More information for NGOs

If you work with a non-governmental organisation that delivers domestic and family violence services, there is more information available:

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Last updated: 20 Apr 2018