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Name suppression changes will stop celebrity abuse

Name suppression changes will stop celebrity abusers hiding behind the law

Proposed law changes to make it harder to secure name suppression in court are being welcomed by the National Network of Stopping Violence Services - Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga.

Advocacy Manager Brian Gardner welcomes the Government announcement that it intends to introduce new legislation, which will also include automatic name suppression for child victims and substantial penalties for breaches of suppression orders.

Mr Gardner says there’s a growing suspicion that famous people get granted name suppression for crimes of violence and assault while ordinary New Zealanders do not.

“Being a celebrity or sports star does not entitle anyone to automatic name suppression yet for too long now, famous New Zealand men who use violence against their partners have been able to hide behind the law.

“We believe violent men can change and admitting one’s actions and being held publicly accountable for them is a critical part of the change process.”

The National Network of Stopping Violence Services Advocacy manager says any clarification of the grounds for name suppression will be beneficial, though he adds that name suppression should be granted, if identifying the offender harms the victim again.

“We don’t want to make matters any worse for those who have already suffered at the hands of their loved ones.”

Mr Gardner says it is important that the community gets the message that it’s okay to talk about domestic violence and abuse.

“Violence to women and children thrives in silence and not having to publicly face the consequences of one’s actions sends the wrong message to those who choose to frighten and control those close to them.”

ENDS

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