Ideas for family violence law changes welcomed

The Government’s family violence consultation is welcomed by the Green Party as an overdue and much needed constructive review of family violence law.

The Government has today released their consultation document to strengthen New Zealand’s legislative response to family violence.

“Successive reports for decades have been telling us our current system has been failing women and children,” Green Party social development spokesperson Jan Logie said today.

“These suggested reforms need to be accompanied by a review of the Government’s better public service targets for reducing crime to ensure that Police have no incentive not to prosecute.

“It’s still absolutely crucial that we significantly upscale our investment in support services to sit alongside the justice response in giving victims the help they need.

“Clarifying the right of children to be free from violence would be a welcome reversal of this Government’s earlier Family Court reforms that removed the Bristol clause which provided additional protection for children.

“Financial cost should never be a barrier to a victim applying for a protection order so a dedicated fund and giving the Police the ability to apply on the victim’s behalf are very welcome ideas.

“Establishing standalone family violence offences could be a really useful tool for those working to combat domestic violence.

“We encourage everyone with an interest in solving our appalling domestic violence rates to make a submission on this consultation.

“It’s well beyond time for Government to step up and ensure that every victim of domestic violence has the protections they need to be safe in their own homes.”