Nearly 1,600 Scots informed of abusive partners through disclosure scheme

Nearly 1,600 people in Scotland have been informed about the abusive past of their partners in the three years since the introduction of disclosure scheme.

The number of requests increased each year, with more than 3,500 requests for disclosure made since October 1 2015.

This year there have been more than 1,360 referrals received through the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse in Scotland (DSDAS), similar to the  Clare’s Law scheme in England and Wales.

It is named after Clare Wood (pictured), who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Salford, Greater Manchester, in 2009.

Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald, strategic lead for Crime and Protection, said:  “Domestic abuse affects all of Scotland’s communities. It is a despicable and debilitating crime and DSDAS gives us the chance to prevent abuse before it occurs.

“The scheme provides an incredibly important opportunity for people who have concerns about a new partner’s abusive past to seek information from the police to help ensure their own safety.

“However, this scheme is also open to those with concerns about another person’s partner – this could be a friend, a family member or a support worker.

“This is crucial as the complexities of controlling and coercive behaviours often mean the people themselves may not recognise the development of abuse or don’t feel able or ready to make an application themselves.”

She added: “The disclosure scheme is about empowering people who have concerns with the right to ask about the background of their partner.

“We will always proactively investigate domestic abuse but this scheme is an opportunity to prevent abuse, to stop people becoming victims and to halt the trauma caused by abusers.

“If you are worried that your partner might have an abusive past, or you are worried about someone else then DSDAS could provide information that can help that person make a positive choice to protect themselves and their future.”

Latest figures also show applications from individuals using their right to ask have increased by almost 40% in the last year.

The scheme came into effect across the country in 2015 following successful pilots in Ayrshire and Aberdeen.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved.