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Chauvel: Disconnected from victims’ reality

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

9 November 2012 Media Statement
Chauvel: Disconnected from victims’ reality

Justice Minister Judith Collins says comments made by Labour’s Charles Chauvel show he has little understanding or empathy for the reality of on-going intimidation and harassment experienced by vulnerable victims of serious and violent sexual offending.

“Mr Chauvel’s comments show a concerning disregard for victims of serious sexual and violent crimes.

“As well as showing ignorance of the law, Mr Chauvel has shown that he is more concerned with the possible restriction on the rights of convicted rapists than on the rights of recovering victims to feel safe in their homes and communities.

“I call on Labour leader, David Shearer, to reconsider if Mr Chauvel is the right person to be representing Labour to the most vulnerable victims of serious and violent offending.

“His comments today show an alarming lack of empathy. I am astounded Mr Chauvel is so disconnected from the reality of such a serious issue.

“It is simply unacceptable to have a situation where a victim of serious crime continues to be intimidated by unwanted contact with their attacker.

“Victims of serious and violent crime deserve to be supported to recover and get on with their lives.

“The new order under the Harassment Act, announced yesterday, has been widely welcomed by victim’s support groups.

“As is appropriate, the new order will be fully consulted on at select committee where anyone who has an interest can have their say,” Ms Collins says.

As well as the new order, this Government:

• has invested $1million to support victims of domestic abuse, particularly women and children at risk of repeat victimisation through the safe@home programme
• is increasing the maximum penalty for breaching a protection order from two years to three years imprisonment
• is improving domestic violence treatment programmes delivered by through the Family Court, and
• is extending the definition of domestic violence in the Domestic Violence Act to include ‘economic abuse’.

“Make no mistake; this Government is very serious about putting the right of victims to be safe, first. The same cannot be said of Mr Chauvel,” Ms Collins says.


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