Guide

Domestic abuse: support

Last updated: 21 May 2018

Check a partner's history of abuse

You have the right to check if someone has a history of domestic abuse. This right is called the 'Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland'.

A disclosure means sharing confidential information. The information here is given to help protect a potential victim of domestic abuse.

How to apply

To check if your partner or someone else's partner has a history of abusive behaviour, you can ask the police to tell you. Fill out a domestic abuse disclosure form to start the application.

You can also speak to the police about your concerns by:

Who can ask for a disclosure

You can apply to find out about:

  • your own partner's history of domestic abuse
  • someone else's partner – you do not have to be related to the person
  • someone you work with if you're a professional
If you apply for someone else you may not receive information. Police will share information with the potential victim or the best person to protect the potential victim.

What happens after you apply

Before the police disclose information, they will:

  • investigate the information they've received
  • ask for a face-to-face meeting to check the information given
  • meet with partner agencies, such as Social Work Services or the Prison Service

The meeting with partner agencies will decide whether disclosing information is 'lawful and necessary'. They will disclose information if:

  • police checks show that the partner has a record of abusive behaviour
  • there is other information that suggests a potential victim is at risk

A disclosure should take a maximum of 45 days to be given.

What kind of information you may be given

A disclosure will give information about the partner's previous violent or abusive behaviour.

This disclosed information will be given to the best person to protect the potential victim. The information should be used to:

  • keep the potential victim and yourself safe
  • keep any children involved safe
  • ask what support is available
  • ask for advice on how to keep yourself and others safe
The information you're given should be treated as confidential – it must not be shared unless agreed with the police.

The partner agency group will work with you on a safety plan for the potential victim.

It's unlikely that information will be given if the partner does not have a record of abusive behaviour. But support and advice can be given if the partner is behaving in a worrying way.

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Domestic abuse: support
Check a partner's history of abuse