Women’s Refuge welcomes family violence legislation changes
13th September 2016
Womens Refuge warmly welcomes the changes made to family violence legislation announced by government today.
“Strengthening legislation to protect the victims, and a strong focus on the rights of victims are crucial to helping to
keep women and children safe from violence, and we are confident that the changes announced today will help to achieve
that,” says Women’s Refuge Chief Executive Dr Ang Jury.
“The changes made to support and strengthen legislation including Protection Orders are important as they highlight and
address the serious and insidious patterned behaviour that underpins family violence; it also sends a strong message to
those that continue to abuse that there will be serious consequences. We are pleased to see the creation of three new
offences; in particular strangulation which reflects the gravity and the potentially fatal part it can play in a
relationship where abuse is present.”
“These changes will support other initiatives happening in the family violence space; we have seen in the news over the
last month just how crucial having proper comprehensive support is for victims while they go through the judicial
process, and these changes will go some way in ensuring that the victim’s needs and rights are central”.
“While I have yet to read over the finer details, I am pleased to see that the government is taking a large step in the
right direction in doing their part, and as New Zealand’s largest provider of family violence services, we look forward
to continuing to work with them to protect and support women and children to live lives free from violence.”
The changes to legislation on family violence announced by the government include getting help to those that need it
outside of the court process, creating three new offences including one of strangulation, making it easier to apply for
a Protection Orders, allowing others to apply on a victim’s behalf, and better providing for the rights of children
under Protection Orders, making offending while on a Protection Order a specific aggravating factor in sentencing.