Find Out About Your Partners History Of Abuse
For us as lawyers when we hear firsthand the stories of abuse and seek to obtain protection and often times parenting Orders there has always been a sense of this is not the first time this person has engaged in behavior like this.
Sometimes our client will say no “we were warned by an ex but just thought they were being vindictive” or sometimes they just never saw it coming.
Last year I was invited to speak on National Radio about the issue of us often not knowing or being able to obtain information on any previous family violence history, I also spoke that this has been of immense frustration to lawyers and clients that we are often delayed or never find out if there has been a prior history. We could once proceedings commenced seek under the Privacy Act a history but often it would not arrive in time before a Hearing leaving our clients more vulnerable.
The government initiative now allowing the Police to disclose whether or not their partner has a history of family violence can only be applauded as a major step forward in keeping families safe.
The Family Violence Information Disclosure Scheme (FVIDS) offers a person the ability to contact their local Police to make enquiries about the person they are in a relationship with if they have concerns about their safety. Any third party eg family or friend can also seek this information but it may be denied as the Police may view it should be given to the either the partner or a person better placed to protect the victim/potential victim.
Disclosure must be within 20 days of the application but if there is a serious threat to a partner and/or their children this information can be provided within 24 hours.
If you have concerns or you are a family member with concerns, then go to the New Zealand Police website (from our links page) to make a request or you can telephone your nearest Police station.
Contact us now to help you with this process and to obtain the necessary Orders to protect you and your family.