Changes to family violence law strengthens protection of victims

Proposed changes to strengthen the system that deals with violence in families have been announced, with victims to be protected for up to 10 days and dowry abuse acknowledged as a form of violence.   

Justice Minister Andrew Little said the changes to the proposed Family and Whānau Violence law aims to strengthen the legislative foundations of the family violence system.

The changes specify that dowry abuse (where the family of a husband push the wife's family for additional finances post-marriage which can include threatening physical violence) was a form of family violence, it recognises coercion and control is an element of family violence and it also aims to modernise the Domestic Violence Act.

Mr Little said family violence was "far too common" in New Zealand.

"One of the main changes is allowing police safety orders to protect victims for up to 10 days. This will provide victims with more time to put in place safety arrangements at a crucial point in time.

"The Bill will provide mechanisms for earlier intervention and assessment of the risk that a perpetrator will inflict more serious harm," he said. 

Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence) Minister Jan Logie called the changes a "huge opportunity and we must do all we can to make transformational change". 

The new courts in Auckland and Whangārei have been active for the past 18 months.
Source: 1 NEWS