Bill to strengthen family violence laws introduced

The Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill has been introduced to Parliament.

The Bill amends the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and other legislation. The proposed changes will strengthen civil and criminal laws, and support agencies to work together better and intervene earlier to stop abuse and get people the help they need.

Announcing the Bill’s introduction, Justice Minister Amy Adams said the Bill is an important part of building a new way of dealing with family violence.

“To properly tackle family violence we need to create an effective, integrated system for addressing it. We need a system that acts early to stop perpetrators hurting their families, protects victims, and breaks the cycle of re-offending,” Ms Adams says.

The proposed reforms include:

  • ensuring all family violence is clearly identified and risk information is properly shared
  • making it easier to apply for a Protection Orders (for example by allowing others to apply on a victim’s behalf)
  • enabling a wider range of programmes to be ordered, in the future, when Protection Orders are made
  • making offending while on a Protection Order a specific aggravating factor in sentencing
  • enabling the setting of codes of practice across the sector.

The Bill is a key element of the Ministerial Work Programme on Family and Sexual Violence, which is focused on building an integrated and effective family violence response system.

The Ministry led the development of the measures in the Bill, which were informed by nearly 500 submissions received during public consultation in 2015.


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