The Green Party welcomes the passing of the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill, which brings our archaic legislation into the 21st century.
“We believe all people should feel safe and protected, and if they are harmed, they must be supported to heal and recover,” says Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson.
“No gender, ethnicity or town in Aotearoa is free from sexual violence. Yet for the majority of survivors, it is currently a trauma they shoulder alone, lacking the assurance that our justice system will protect and support them.
“This Bill is an important step and we must reduce the re-traumatisation sexual violence victims experience in court, lift reporting rates, and build confidence in the justice system’s ability to appropriately deal with sexual offending. This is a bare minimum,” says Marama Davidson.
The Bill progresses the work started by Green Party MP and former justice under-secretary Jan Logie in the last term.
“I want to acknowledge and thank the courageous people who have spent years fighting for the changes in this Bill. With roots in our country’s response to the experience of sexual violence victims, it has taken over 12 hard-fought years to deliver change. Survivors’ growing calls for action, and a system that safeguards victims, have made this Bill a reality,” says Jan Logie.
“However, there is more we must do to centre victims and stop violence perpetuating in our society, including reviewing the education of defence and prosecution workforces, so they can test the evidence rather than the witness, and clearly defining consent.
“At the point of harm occurring, both those impacted by violence and those who have used violence need end to end advocacy and support to help stop further violence and harm from happening and heal.
“The evidence is clear that we need to develop alternate justice pathways that provide culturally appropriate, non-adversarial, accountability with the opportunity to heal.
“People in Aotearoa should rightly expect a justice system that restores mana, not diminishes it,” says Jan Logie.