NI: Over 300 checks made under domestic violence disclosure scheme in first year

NI: Over 300 checks made under domestic violence disclosure scheme in first year

Over 300 applications have been made to the Domestic Violence and Abuse Disclosure Scheme (DVADS) in Northern Ireland since its introduction one year ago.

New figures from the PSNI, which operates the scheme, reveal that 326 checks have been made and 40 people, identified as being at risk, have been advised about their partner’s abusive past.

The scheme allows for a potential victim to receive information on their partner’s history of abusive behaviour in terms of the risk they pose, enabling them to make an informed choice about their relationship.

The scheme is based on “Clare’s Law” in England and Wales, and a similar scheme introduced in Scotland in 2015.

Anthony Harbinson, director of the Department of Justice’s safer communities directorate said: “I welcome the take up of the disclosure scheme and the courage of those coming forward to make an enquiry. Domestic violence and abuse is a serious problem within Northern Ireland’s society and we remain committed to tackling it through implementation of the joint Department of Justice and Department of Health seven year strategy.”

He continued: “I am also encouraged by the proactive steps being taken by police and partner organisations in making their own enquiries through the scheme.

“We will continue to work in partnership with PSNI and our statutory and voluntary sector colleagues to help create a safe community where we respect the law and each other.”

Detective Superintendent Ryan Henderson, of the PSNI’s public protection branch, added: “One year on from the launch I am pleased to see the uptake in the number of people who have come forward to apply. This has surpassed our expectations and shows the scheme has a vital part to play in tackling domestic abuse.

“My message one year on is that the scheme works and I would encourage anyone who feels that it is right for them to use it.”

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