The Liberal Government’s Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme trial has received strong uptake in its first 12 months of operation, demonstrating a vital need for the service which aims to protect women and children at risk.
Since the scheme began on October 2, 2018, the DVDS has received 252 applications by people at risk of, or experiencing, domestic and family violence.
Due to solid results of the scheme to date, the Marshall Liberal Government provided an additional $383,000 in the 2019-20 State Budget towards ensuring the scheme trial continues until June 30, 2020.
Of the 252 applications so far, 170 applications were accepted for further consideration and of those, a total of 98.2 per cent of applications were for women.
A total of 15 people assessed were at imminent risk of harm, with disclosure meetings provided as a matter of urgency.
Disclosure meetings were approved for 108 people and of those, 92 meetings were held. Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the strong uptake and results “speak for themselves”.
“The fact that 170 applications were accepted for further consideration highlights there are South Australians at risk of, or experiencing, domestic and family violence and this scheme is invaluable,” said Minister Lensink.
“The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is important way to help South Australians take control of their situation and possibly provide a safer environment for themselves and their children."
“Of the 252 applications, 168 (67 per cent) had children in their care and 106 (42 per cent) were seeking information about a current partner, while 147 (58 per cent) were seeking information about an ex-partner."
“The latest statistics show 86 applications (34 per cent) were made by people concerned for the safety and wellbeing of a woman they knew within their community, such a family member or friend"
“A total of 89 applications (35 per cent) were from regional areas, which recognises domestic violence can happen anywhere from the city to the country – sadly, no one is immune."
“So far, 100 per cent of applications have been made online via the SAPOL online portal but people can also access the scheme at their local police station."
“Any form of violence is unacceptable and must be stopped."
“The Liberal Government will continue to do whatever we can to tackle the scourge of domestic, family and sexual violence and that is why we committed an additional $383,000 to fund this worthwhile scheme until June 30, 2020.”
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme gives people the opportunity to find out if their current or former partner (where there is ongoing contact) has a history of violence or similar offence. It also provides every applicant access to a specialist domestic violence worker for risk assessment, safety planning and ongoing support.
The Scheme connects new women with help and support, and it also assists people to reach out to those in the community who may feel at risk and have in the past been too frightened or unsure, to take any action.
The information obtained throughout the disclosure process allows people to make an informed decision about their safety and the safety of their children.
People can find out more about the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme or make an application using the online form by visiting www.police.sa.gov.au/your-safety/dvds