27/03/2019

PSNI Carry Out Over 300 Checks In Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme

Over 326 people submitted applications to the Domestic Violence and Abuse Disclosure Scheme (DVADS) last year in relation to the history of partners they suspect may be abusive.

The initiative, operated by the PSNI, saw 40 people who were at risk of violence and abuse informed about their partner's past. This information enabled the vulnerable individuals to make informed choices about their relationship, according to the Department of Justice.

Anthony Harbinson, Director of the Department'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. I am also encouraged by the proactive steps being taken by police and partner organisations in making their own enquiries through the scheme.
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"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."

Over 31,000 domestic violence and abuse incidents were reported to the PSNI overall last year, with almost 16,000 crimes committed. Six people on average are murdered every year following instances of domestic abuse, with around 70% of all victims being female.

Discussing the first anniversary of the scheme, Detective Superintendent Ryan Henderson from Police Service Public Protection Branch said: "I am extremely proud that we now have this Scheme in place across Northern Ireland. This shows that as a society we say there is no place for domestic abuse or no hiding place for domestic abusers.

"The scheme is different because it focuses on preventing people from becoming victims. Abusers can often move from relationship to relationship leaving a trail of abuse which the scheme stops from remaining hidden.

"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 this works and I would encourage anyone who feels that it is right for them to use it."



(JG/CM)

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