Women can now check if their partner has been convicted of domestic violence in a new trial
- People in NSW can request information about their partner’s past
- The Right To Ask program is the first of its kind in Australia since 2016
- Aims to save lives and prevent them from becoming victims of abuse
Women can now check whether their new partner has a history of domestic violence through a new government process aimed at saving lives.
NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet is launching the Right To Ask initiative on Monday to keep women safe and empower them to make an informed decision when entering into new relationships.
Through a hotline or website, people can request information about their partner’s past, including previous convictions for domestic violence.
The 12-month trial follows the tragic recent death in western Sydney of Dannielle Finlay-Jones, 31, allegedly killed by new boyfriend Ashley Gaddie whom she had met weeks earlier on a dating app.
The Right To Ask plan will be unveiled in NSW on Monday in the wake of the recent death of Dannielle Finlay-Jones (pictured)
Gaddie, 33, had been the subject of five separate AVOs from former partners in the past six years.
The prime minister told The Daily Telegraph that the new plan will pay off if it saves someone’s life.
“There are just too many heartbreaking stories of women and men being seriously injured or killed in circumstances where the perpetrators had a history of previous domestic and violent crimes they knew nothing about,” said Perrottet.
Those requesting information about their partners are subject to identity checks and a legal statement confirming that they are in a relationship with the person they are requesting information about.
The program is the first of its kind in Australia since 2016 when NSW trialled a similar program which had limited success and was not widely available.
Police Minister Paul Toole is convinced that the new arrangement will be much more effective.
“The dating landscape has changed since then, with more and more people accessing dating apps and dating outside familiar friendship circles,” he said.
The scheme aims to save lives by enabling people to check their partner’s past for a history of domestic violence (stock image)
NSW Police have also supported the process.
“We look forward to working … to get this going,” Commissioner Karen Webb said.
The trial comes as officials from dating apps Bumble, Match and Grindr prepare to attend a national summit on online dating safety this week.
Federal Communications Secretary Michelle Rowland will convene Wednesday’s roundtable, which will discuss how to prevent abuse of online dating services, support users who are harmed and efforts to improve online dating safety.
Reporting processes, support for victims of abuse and policies to hold perpetrators accountable are also on the agenda.
“We need to make sure platforms have the right safeguards in place for those using them, and effective mechanisms to report an incident if something goes wrong,” Ms Rowland said.
If you or someone you know needs support, please contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb hopes the new arrangement will allow people to make informed decisions when entering into a new relationship