Police tell 7,500 people of partners history of domestic abuse or violence

POLICE have received more than 13,000 requests for information by people wanting to know if their partner has a history of domestic abuse.

Police Scotland’s Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse in Scotland (DSDAS) was launched in October 2015, and since then a total of 13,334 request have been submitted to question the background of a partner.

It was revealed today that of those 13,334 request, 7,530 people were told that their current partner has a history of violence or abusive behaviour.

The new information released is part of a police Scotland domestic abuse campaign and has received backing from various victim support charities.

Dr. Marsha Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Women’s Aid said: “Survivors of domestic abuse face so many barriers to seeking support, and for loved ones it can be challenging finding the best way to support them safely.

“Providing a tool like the disclosure scheme that can inform survivors or their loved ones of previous abusive behaviour, could help in preventing harm to women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.”

READ MORE: Reported domestic abuse charges in Scotland reach a five-year high

Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland, added: “We fully support Police Scotland’s campaign, and hope this encourages people who have experienced domestic abuse to realise that they are not alone.

“With reports of domestic abuse increasing in Scotland, it is important to recognise the long-term trauma that domestic abuse can cause.

“Almost 90% of domestic abuse victims experience financial and coercive control. Our Victims’ Fund has helped hundreds of people in these situations purchase, for example, security systems, furniture for temporary housing, and household essentials. For many this is providing a lifeline.”

Police are running their domestic abuse campaign across various social media platforms until the end of January 2022.

They are encouraging anyone who is being abused or are at risk of abuse to contact them on 101 or 999 if an emergency.

Detective Chief Superintendent Sam Faulds said that scheme allows people the ‘right to choose’ if they want to know about a partner’s past.

The Head of Public Protection also said during a time like a pandemic, cases are likely to rise, but it only takes that one phone call which could make all the difference.

READ MORE: SNP MP Hannah Bardell calls for action and education to tackle female harrassment

He said: “Behind the numbers are people who have either escaped becoming victims of domestic abuse, or who are now aware of their partner’s abusive past.

“Abusers manipulate and control their victims. Abuse can be gradual, and it can be very difficult for victims of domestic abuse to recognise their situation and to then take action to get themselves out of it.

“DSDAS provides that first step. It can help prevent domestic abuse and the long-term damage it can cause victims, their families and their children.

“People told about a partner’s past have the right to choose the course of action they wish to take, and practical support and advice is available from our partners.

“The scheme exists not just for those who may be at risk but for their friends or families to use too.

“Each year reports of domestic abuse increase over the festive period. This year we are acutely aware of the impact of the pandemic on victims locked in with the person responsible for their abuse.

“So this festive season we are appealing to friends, family, colleagues and neighbours or anyone who sees something to call it out if they are concerned that someone may be a victim of domestic abuse. Get in touch with us and we will make sure that person is ok and we will investigate the circumstances. 

“All it takes is one person to alert us and we can help end the threat and harm caused by domestic abuse.”



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