05/12/2020 | Michelle Lensink MLC | Carolyn Power MP | Better Services

A Marshall Liberal Government scheme which gives South Australians the opportunity to find out if their current or former partner has a history of violence continues to receive strong uptake in its second year of operation – and will now be funded on an ongoing basis.

Since the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme began on October 2, 2018, a total of 601 applications have been received by or on behalf of people at risk of domestic and family violence.

Given the scheme’s success in helping keep South Australians safe, this year’s State Budget committed an additional $500,000 per year so it can continue until mid-2024.

Of the 601 DVDS applications received by the scheme up to 31 October 2020:

* 432 (72 per cent) applications were accepted for further consideration
* 15 people assessed were at imminent risk of harm, with disclosure meetings provided as a matter of urgency
* 277 disclosure meetings were approved and 234 have taken place
* 98 per cent of applications were from women
* 65 per cent had children in their care
* 40 per cent were seeking information about a current partner
* 60 per cent were seeking information about an ex-partner
* 212 (35 per cent) were made by people concerned for the safety of someone they know
* 235 (39 per cent) were from regional areas
Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the strong uptake of the DVDS was evidence the measure was worthwhile – and potentially life-saving.

“The Marshall Liberal Government will continue to do whatever we can to tackle the scourge of domestic, family and sexual violence and that’s why we committed an additional $500,000 per annum to fund this worthwhile scheme until mid-2024,” said Minister Lensink.

“The strong uptake of this scheme clearly shows there is real value in empowering South Australians at risk of domestic violence to make informed choices about their safety.

“The fact that 72 per cent of total applications to the disclosure scheme were accepted for further consideration is evidence this scheme is needed and of those, 15 South Australians assessed were at imminent risk of harm, showing this scheme could quite literally be a lifesaver.

“Almost 40 per cent of South Australians accessing the disclosure scheme were from regional areas, showing that no one is immune to domestic, family and sexual violence and it can happen anywhere and to anyone.”

Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power said not only was the scheme protecting women – but their children too.

“The vast majority of applicants had children in their care – this vital measure is not only protecting and supporting women, it is also protecting our children from potential harm and abuse,” said Mrs Power.

“The early warning signs of domestic violence should never be ignored and we really urge anyone concerned about the behaviour of their partner or ex-partner, and anyone concerned for the safety of a woman they know to make an application. It’s online, free and
simple to do.”

The information obtained throughout the disclosure process allows people to make an informed decision about their safety and the safety of their children.

To find out more about the DVDS or to make an application, visit
www.police.sa.gov.au/your-safety/dvds or ask at your local police station.