21 February 2007
Experts Predict Drop in Domestic Violence
Repeal of Section 59 will lead to a reduction in domestic violence in New Zealand, domestic violence experts say.
The National Network of Stopping Violence Services labelled Parliament's decision today to pass the bill on its second
reading as courageous and enlightened.
"We predict this will ultimately lead to decreasing levels of domestic violence in the next decade," Brian Gardner,
national manager, said.
"This decision is an important step in addressing our shocking levels of domestic violence.
"The Government is saying that it's not ok to hit anyone to get what you want. This finally gives the most vulnerable
members of our community – our children – the same protection and rights other people enjoy," he said.
"Overseas experience shows us that attitudes will change as a result of progressive legislation. If we change the
environment then people's beliefs will also change.
"Those of us working with perpetrators and victims of domestic violence know that people who grow up with violence learn
to use it. It's a simple as that.
"By making violence illegal we can help families to live free of violence and this has got to be good for the whole
The National Network of Stopping Violence Services is the umbrella organisation for 33 agencies working to reduce and
prevent family violence in New Zealand.