Chance to save lives
WOMEN’S safety services in this state keep a database which tracks serial abusers.
At last count, it held the names of more than 400 men who had been reported as hurting multiple women or children.
They are men who go from one relationship to the next, perpetuating, and often escalating, the same abusive behaviour.
When one woman gathers the courage to leave, or extreme violence leaves her no choice, these men just move on to another unsuspecting victim.
From October, women – and it is still women who are most affected by domestic violence – will be able to ask police about the prior history of their partner.
Before physical violence rears its ugly head there are usually red flags, indicators of controlling or abusive tendencies.
If a woman, or her relative or friend, has concerns that such behaviour could worsen, the scheme is an opportunity to seek help early.
It can be difficult to leave a relationship, even an abusive one, but the hope is that knowing the risk of harm they face will make choosing safety easier.
It could well save a life.