Women in Willoughby will be able to find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence offences, following the launch of the Right To Ask Scheme.

The Right To Ask Scheme will provide the opportunity for NSW police to disclose information to a person who is a potential victim of domestic abuse about their partner’s previous abusive or violent offending.

Member for Willoughby Tim James said the scheme will ensure women are protected when entering into new relationships.

“This new program ensures that women are able to protect themselves by being able to find out more about their partner before making major life decisions, such as moving in with them or inviting them into your family, especially where children are involved,” Mr James said. 

“This is an innovative way to increase preventative measures to protect women in Willoughby from domestic violence and is modelled off the successful ‘Clare’s Law’ in the UK.”

Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said there was no single solution to addressing domestic violence.

“Our priority is to protect a woman’s right to be safe in a relationship which is why the NSW Government has committed record funding to prevention and support,” Mrs Ward said.

“We’ve also passed affirmative consent legislation, outlawed coercive control and expanded our primary prevention campaign Make No Doubt because we are addressing domestic violence at all stages.”

The scheme will be reviewed following 12 months of operation.

The NSW Government has a proud record of initiatives and investment to support Women’s safety including:

  • $426.6 million to expand the Core and Cluster initiative, to deliver and operate new women’s refuges that will support up to an additional 2,900 women and children escaping domestic and family violence each year. This is the largest funding commitment ever made to the domestic violence sector.
  • There have already been 39 new refuges announced as part of this program. This is on top of the 86 government refuges currently operating.
  • Doubled Domestic and Family Violence leave for NSW Government sector employees from 10 to 20 days.
  • Landmark laws to criminalise coercive control in intimate partner relationships and nation-leading affirmative consent, with the new laws commencing on 1 June this year.
  • Introduced five new jury directions to address common misconceptions about consent at the same time releasing state-wide plans to address domestic, family and sexual violence that will respond to and align with the National Plan.
  • Banned self-represented people accused of domestic violence in criminal and related proceedings from directly cross-examining domestic violence complainants.