A scheme to help protect people from the risk of domestic violence by allowing them to find out if a current partner has a history of violence has been in operation across Scotland for a year now.

The Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse in Scotland came into force on 1st October last year, and gives people the right to request a disclosure if they believe their current partner may have been abusive in the past. Disclosures can also be requested on someone else’s behalf.

In the first year of operation, Police Scotland report that 1,044 requests for disclosures were received. From these, 443 disclosures were actually made, and 371 of these resulted in people being informed of their partner’s abusive past.

“Scottish Women’s Aid welcome any tool or service that increases the safety of women and children experiencing domestic abuse,” commented Dr Marsha Scott, Chief Executive of domestic violence charity Scottish Women’s Aid. 

“It is good to see this evidence that the Disclosure Scheme is being used by police and by women, and we look forward to seeing the evaluation of the longer-term impacts of disclosure on women’s lives, space for action, and safety,” she said.

“We especially value our partnership with Police Scotland and other groups as we all seek to end women’s inequality in Scotland and eradicate domestic abuse,” she added.

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