People at risk of domestic violence will now have an important resource to turn to as a result of the trial of an Australian-first domestic violence disclosure scheme.
Launching the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward said the program will increase the safety of people potentially at risk of domestic violence by giving them the opportunity to find out if their current or former partner has a violent past.
Speaking at the launch in the Sutherland Local Area Command (LAC), one of the four pilot sites, Ms Goward said the DVDS was another example of the NSW Government delivering on an election commitment. “For too long, domestic violence has been a hidden issue. It is rarely a one-off incident, and if we are going to break the cycle we need to intervene early and prevent future violence,” Ms Goward said.
“This is about preventing people from being kept in the dark about a partner’s violent past and giving them the support to make informed decisions about their relationship,” Ms Goward said.
The NSW Government has invested $2.3 million over the two-year pilot for expert domestic and family violence NGO services to provide support to the person at risk regardless of whether a disclosure has been made or not.
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the DVDS complements the significant work already undertaken by the NSW Police to tackle domestic violence. “The DVDS is another tool for NSW Police to help manage risk for potential victims and identify potential reoffenders,” Commissioner Scipione said.
The DVDS has been developed following wide consultation with legal experts, domestic and family violence service providers as well as the NSW Police.
The four pilot sites will commence today in Sutherland LAC, Oxley LAC, Shoalhaven LAC and St George LAC.