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Women’s Refuge Supports Police Protection Orders


NATIONAL COLLECTIVE of
INDEPENDENT WOMEN’S REFUGES INC.

MEDIA RELEASE – 22 SEPTEMBER 2009

Women’s Refuge Supports Police Protection Orders

Women’s Refuge says the last night’s passing of changes to the Domestic Violence Act is a significant step towards enhancing the safety of victims of family violence.

Heather Henare, Chief Executive of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges welcomes the new law, saying the amendments will provide greater powers to police and the courts.

She said, “Women’s Refuge made a submission on this proposed law change and in principle we supported the introduction of police protection orders.”
Ms Henare said Women’s Refuge had conducted research in Western Australia, where police-initiated protection orders were in place. “As part of that research team, we found that the orders were effective and largely welcomed by women who had experienced domestic violence.”

“Removing the violent person from the scene allows a period of safety for the victim, allowing them an opportunity to access help and support.”

“The law change also strengthens the legislation around breaches of protection orders, which is something we have wanted for a long time.”

Ms Henare said implementation of the Act was the most important issue.

“Breaches of protection orders cannot be brushed off. Lives are at stake and threats or complaints must be taken seriously if we want our domestic violence statistics to improve.”

She said, “I am glad to see that police and courts will undergo training before the provisions are enacted. The strength of that training will determine the success of these changes.”

Women’s Refuge is New Zealand’s most significant family violence organisation, with a 35 year history of providing comprehensive services for women and children

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