Domestic violence checks to be trialled

THE ball is rolling on moves to allow New South Wales residents to check their partners' backgrounds for a history of domestic violence.

The Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Pru Goward, announced the proposed creation of a domestic violence register before the March election.

The NSW Government has released a discussion paper and called for public feedback on the scheme.

Ms Goward said a pilot program would run over two years in four areas of New South Wales before possibly being rolled out across the state.

"The disclosure scheme is about holding offenders to account and preventing people being kept in the dark about potential dangers in their relationships," she said.

Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme would be piloted to enable people to find out whether their partner has a history of domestic violence.

Mrs Pavey said she remained troubled that instances of domestic violence across the region are too high.

"Even one case of domestic violence is one too many,'' she said.

"However, local community bodies and government agencies say it's still occurring - and this is why the NSW Government has put a program in place."

In Coffs Harbour and Grafton there were 719 domestic related assaults reported to police last year, according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics.

A domestic violence disclosure allows people to make informed decisions about their relationships and safety, to seek assistance or undertake safety planning.

The scheme is similar to an initiative that was successfully introduced in the United Kingdom called Clare's Law.

To read the paper and provide feedback, visit haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au.

- APN NEWSDESK



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