Victims protected from unwanted contact

Published: Thu 29 Aug 2013 12:23 PM
Victims protected from unwanted contact
A Bill creating a new order to protect victims of serious violent and sexual offences passed its first reading in Parliament today.
Justice Minister Judith Collins says the Victims’ Orders Against Violent Offenders Bill creates a new non-contact order to help reduce the likelihood of serious violent and sexual offenders coming into contact with their victims.
“This Government has made perfectly clear its commitment to putting victims at the heart of our criminal justice system. This Bill is one more way to ensure victims feel safe and protected from further offending,” Ms Collins says.
The Bill will close gaps that currently exist in the protection available to victims of serious violent and sexual crime. Existing measures, such as protection orders, restraining orders and parole conditions may not protect victims in all circumstances.
The flexibility of the new non-contact order will ensure it’s used to help prevent unwanted contact and where necessary, places more restrictive conditions on an offender. For example, the order can prohibit the offender from contacting the victim in any way, including by electronic means, and can prohibit the offender from entering, living, or working in a particular area.
Ms Collins says the Bill recognises victims can suffer significant set-backs during the recovery process if they have unwanted contact with the person who offended against them.
The Bill was referred to the Law and Order Committee for consideration.

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