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Protecting Victims of Sexual Violence


Protecting Victims of Sexual Violence

Human Rights Commissioner Joy Liddicoat today welcomed Government proposed moves towards the provision of greater protection for victims of sexual violence during trials.

Associate Minister of Justice Lianne Dalziel announced the proposal in response to recent public concern at situations in which people accused of sexual violence have been able to cross examine alleged victims. “We simply cannot allow such situations to occur; our hearts go out to all those who have been the victims of such incidents,” said Ms Liddicoat.

“Women in New Zealand need to be confident that if they report crimes involving sexual violence they will, so far as possible, be protected from further trauma and harassment.”

“We must be able to protect our most vulnerable complainants in sexual violence cases and ensure that they are adequately protected before, during and after trial.”

Ms Liddicoat also said that a careful balancing of the human rights and responsibilities of both the victim and an accused is always necessary.

“Recommendations on such matters relating to the questioning of witnesses were made by the Law Commission in their 1999 report on Evidence (NZLC R55). The Law Commission's recommendations were made following extensive research and consultation, including with the legal profession. For this reason, we welcome the Minister's actions on these recommendations."

The Human Rights Commission will be following the progress of the proposals for reform closely.


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