Things to consider when disclosing a sexual offence conviction to a new partner

Finding a new partner can often be difficult, but if you have a criminal record (especially if it’s for a sexual offence) finding someone to share your life with can be even more challenging. A criminal record is often a source of embarrassment and deciding when to discuss it to a new partner can cause much anxiety.

We’ve produced some new information which gives tips on disclosing your conviction and some of the consequences which may result from it, especially if you are in a relationship with somebody who has children.

It’s unlikely that you would wish to divulge a lot of personal information to somebody that you may not have a future with. However, it can then become increasingly difficult to discuss as the relationship progresses. A fear of rejection is often the reason for people not disclosing, but if your partner finds out later on (or the police decide to tell her themselves), it can cause massive trust issues between the two of you.

Remember, disclosing your conviction doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship. As a caller to our helpline said recently:

I’m not an idiot. I know this should be a red flag – but I also know that bad things happen to good people and he seems like a good person

For more information

  1. For practical self-help information – More information on this is on our sexual offences section 
  2. To discuss this issue with others – Read and share your experiences on our online forumDisclosing a criminal record to a new partner
  3. Questions – If you have any questions about this, you can contact our helpline.


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Debbie Sadler