Issued: Thursday 21 May 2015
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward and Attorney General Gabrielle Upton today invited NSW residents to have their say on an Australian-first scheme to protect people who may be at risk of domestic violence.
The NSW Government is delivering on its key election commitment to pilot a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) that enables people to find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence offending.
A DVDS allows people to make informed decisions about their relationship and safety, to seek assistance or undertake safety planning. The scheme will be piloted over two years in four areas in NSW. If successful, it could be rolled out across the state.
The DVDS is similar to an initiative that was successfully introduced in the United Kingdom called Clare's Law.
The NSW Government today released a discussion paper on the scheme and encouraged the community to provide feedback. Ms Goward and Ms Upton will also convene a roundtable discussion with legal experts and DFV service delivery groups.
Ms Goward said domestic violence has the highest rate of recidivism of any crime.
"Domestic violence is rarely a one-off incident and if an offender has subjected a former partner to abuse, there's a genuine risk the behaviour will continue with their current partner," Ms Goward said.
"The disclosure scheme is about holding offenders to account and preventing people being kept in the dark about potential dangers in their relationships."
Ms Upton said the NSW Government is empowering people with information.
"Information is power and the DVDS will empower people. It gives people who may be at risk the ability to make an informed decision about their relationships and get help if they need it," Ms Upton said.
To view the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme Discussion Paper and provide feedback, visit www.haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/.