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 an online form to start the application.
You can also speak to the police about your concerns by:
- phoning 101 – the non emergency number
- visiting a police office
- speaking to a police officer on the street
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 don't have to be related to the person
- someone you work with if you're a professional
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 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 doesn't have a record of abusive behaviour. But support and advice can be given if the partner is behaving in a worrying way.
Where you can get support
You can contact Police Scotland on 101 or 999 for an emergency.
If you would like to talk to someone about domestic abuse you can contact any of these helplines:
- Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 027 1234
- Abused Men in Scotland – 0808 800 0024
- Men's Advice Line – 0808 801 0327
You can also ask the police for information on local services and organisations where you live.
Find out more about support if you're affected by domestic abuse.