The Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill is being considered by Parliament.
The Bill amends the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and other legislation including the Crimes Act, to implement proposed reforms that focus on intervening earlier to prevent future violence.
The changes will strengthen civil and criminal laws, and support agencies to work together to respond to family violence. As a result, victims will be safer and perpetrators will be stopped from using violence.
The table below summarises the key changes.
|The Act does not have enough guidance||
The Act will provide better guidance about what family violence is and how to use the Act:
|Victims can find protection orders difficult to apply for, due to a complicated process and costs of legal advice||
Protection orders will be easier to apply for:
|Opportunities to intervene early and support perpetrators to stop using violence aren’t maximised||
More effective at helping perpetrators change their behaviour:
|When parents separate, perpetrators may use parenting arrangements as an opportunity to continue to use violence against adult and child victims||
Better protect the safety of adult and child victims following separation:
|Family violence offending isn’t consistently identified or recorded in the criminal justice system||
Family violence offences are clearly flagged:
|Existing offences don’t clearly criminalise all family violence behaviours||
Ensuring family violence is effectively prosecuted:
People will have the opportunity to comment on details of the proposed law when the Bill is considered at Select Committee.
The Bill is based on a package of changes to family violence laws agreed to by Cabinet in August 2016. The public was consulted in August - September 2015 as part of the review and nearly 500 submissions were received. These submissions helped inform the reforms.
If you'd like to learn more about the proposed changes, please see the documents related to the August 2016 announcements:
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