NSW will let people check partner’s history of domestic violence

People in New South Wales will soon be able to check if their partner has a history´╗┐ of domestic violence, in a new trial safety scheme rolled out by the state government.

Under the Right To Ask scheme, people who are potentially at risk of domestic violence will be able to ask NSW Police about their partner’s previous violent or abusive offending.

“There are simply too many heartbreaking stories of women and men being seriously hurt or murdered in circumstances where the perpetrators had a history of prior domestic and violent criminal offences that they didn’t know about,” NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said.

NSW will allow people potentially at risk of domestic violence to check their partner’s criminal history. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“We cannot continue to have women being killed in our community so we need to have new approaches, new thinking and new policies.”

The new scheme will be designed with input from domestic violence organisations.

A person who may be at risk will be able to apply online or over the phone to access information about their partner.

The service will be available in multiple languages.

NSW Police will approve any information before it is provided, with strict privacy controls in place.

There will be criminal penalties for “malicious” applications.

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Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said there was no single solution to addressing domestic violence.

“We’ve also passed affirmative consent legislation, outlawed coercive control and expanded our primary prevention campaign Make No Doubt because we are addressing domestic violence at all stages,” she said.

The scheme will be reviewed after 12 months of operation.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

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