It is heartening that the Government is finally starting to address the failure of our justice system to provide protection for victims of family violence or support abusers to change, the Green Party said today.
“Family violence is currently embedded in New Zealand culture and we all need to be brave to face the level of changes needed to address it,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said.
“Too many families have been further traumatised and indebted trying to get legal protection through our courts. Changes to legal aid and the Family Court last term prioritised cost-saving over protecting victims. These reforms will hopefully go some way to addressing that harm caused.
“All New Zealanders need to hear loud and clear the message that family violence, intimate partner violence, and violence against children is unacceptable.
“Under the National Government, vital services like Rape Crisis and Women’s Refuge have had to reduce hours and services as their funding was cut or not increased to meet demand. I hope to hear soon that these services will have enough funding to ensure support for victims and survivors.
“We hope that when the Government modernises the definition of family violence through legislation it addresses the needs of people in care or being cared for, such as the elderly and people with disabilities, who do not feel protected under the current law.
“The Government has identified teachers and nurses as able to identify risk and respond early, however an effective supplement to this would be workplace protections such as my Member’s Bill.
“The Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill, my Member’s Bill, would provide people affected by domestic violence a support system to be safe at work and find pathways out.
“I look forward to more leadership, more collaboration, more money for essential services, and close monitoring of all changes,” Ms Logie said.