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Bill to help protect victims of family violence

Hon Simon Power

Minister of Justice


 
18 December 2008
Media Statement

 

Bill to help protect victims of family violence


 

A bill aimed at further protecting victims of family violence was introduced to Parliament today by Justice Minister Simon Power and has been referred to select committee for public submissions.

The Domestic Violence (Enhancing Safety) Bill is the third bill to be introduced as part of the National-led Government’s Action Plan on Violent Crime.

“Family violence is a problem we must address with urgency,” Mr Power says.

“The primary purpose of this bill is to give police the power to issue on-the-spot protection orders.

“At present, family violence protection orders are made by a judge, and restrict the alleged offender from contact with the victim. The problem with that is victims must apply to the courts for orders, and many don’t, either because of the delay, cost, a lack of trust in the system, or fear of repercussions.

“This bill changes that by allowing police to issue orders to address the immediate safety of victims by removing the alleged violent person from the home for a period of up to five days.

“Police will be able to issue the orders in situations where there is an insufficient basis to arrest but where they believe there is a likelihood of domestic violence occurring, and an order is necessary for the safety of the victim.

“That will provide a period of safety in which victims can consider their options

“I don’t pretend that this bill will stop violence from occurring in the home.

“But, as a first step, it is designed to give police and criminal courts enhanced tools to provide victims of domestic violence with immediate protection, and to help keep victims safe from further violence. “

ENDS

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