Family violence overhaul desperately needed

The Government’s small steps on family violence announced today are a move in the right direction, but more needs to be done, the Green Party said today.

“The Government has taken some important steps today, but there is still a lot that needs to be done to end domestic violence in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said. 

“There are a couple of critically important issues that we would’ve liked the Government to address today.

“The Government should have taken this opportunity to re-introduce the Bristol Clause, which they removed from law in 2012.

“This clause was named after Christine Bristol's three daughters – all aged under 10 – who were killed by her abusive ex-husband. The Bristol Clause would refuse abusive former partners access to their children, unless the children’s safety can be assured.

“Under the National Government, vital services like Women’s Refuge have had to reduce hours and services as their funding was cut or not increased to meet demand. These services need to have decent funding to ensure support for victims and survivors throughout their journey.

“Previous changes to legal aid and the Family Court have prioritised cost saving over protecting victims. These reforms will hopefully go some way to addressing that harm caused.

“How these changes will interact with the Tamariki Oranga Bill will determine many children’s future. I would like to see greater support for the role of counsel for the child.

“I am glad that the Government is now supporting my Member’s Bill to see greater workplace protections for victims of domestic violence.

“I look forward to more leadership, more collaboration, more money for essential services, and close monitoring of the changes announced today,” Ms Logie said. 

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