Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Domestic violence still being minimised by decision makers

December 15, 2011

Domestic violence and its consequences still being minimised by decision makers

A Waikato University law academic who helped change the face of domestic violence legislation in New Zealand says domestic violence and its consequences continue to be minimised by the judiciary and other family law decision makers.

“A proper focus on the psychological, physical and sexual safety of victims would make a big difference to the lives of Kiwi women and children,” says Associate Professor Ruth Busch who is retiring after 23 years.

“The judiciary should be carrying out the objectives of the Care of Children Act and the Domestic Violence Act and not be seduced by the notion domestic violence is a ‘he said / she said’ situation or unimportant if it occurs at the time of separation.”

Ms Busch goes on to say the high correlation between woman abuse and child abuse has been demonstrated repeatedly and needs to be acknowledged, especially given New Zealand’s child homicide rate and that New Zealand needs effective interventions in terms of domestic violence.

Law reform has not delivered what Ms Busch, and others, believed it would and she admits implementation of those laws has been disappointing.

“We were naive because we thought that if we could explain the affects of violence to decision makers and amend violence related statues, the law could become a significant force in enhancing victims’ safety and children’s resilience,” she says.

“We should have known better. Deep seated misogyny and other biases still influence policies and case law about violence even today.”

Ms Busch was born in New York’s Bronx and heard about domestic violence through the very walls of the building where she grew up. She came to New Zealand in 1983 after practising law in Canada and began teaching at Waikato in 1988.

Over the years, Ms Busch has contributed to papers in Family Law, Property Issues in Family Law, Domestic Violence and the State, Women Law and Policy and Issues in Family Law. She has published numerous reports and articles on domestic violence and has been involved in analysing parenting order decisions which arise within the context of domestic violence. She has also researched and written in the area of legal recognition of same sex relationships.

Today, facing retirement, she is working hard on trying to establish an eco-friendly and sustainable retirement community for lesbians.

“Many of us who were part of the Stonewall generation are worried that unless we build lgbti-friendly communities we will be driven back into the closet in our old age.”

In her retirement, Ms Busch also plans to travel, “hang out” with her grandchildren, go bird watching and learn “at least something” about the millions of things she still knows nothing about.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Labour Refusing To Lead A Progressive Drugs Policy

Once again, Labour has chosen not to use (a) its parliamentary majority and (b) the huge mandate it was given at the last election in order to (c) bring about progressive social change. Once again, Labour seems to regard its main purpose for being in power as being to keep National and Act out of power. Will Labour for instance, overhaul our out-dated, unsafe, and unjust laws on drugs? No, it will not... More>>

 

Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>

ALSO:

Norman Gemmell: New Zealand’s New Housing Policy Is Really Just A New Tax Package — And It’s A Shambles

Norman Gemmell , Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Economists like to talk about “optimal policy instruments” — essentially, policies that achieve their objectives more effectively or efficiently than the alternatives, and ... More>>

Climate Change: Emissions Report Shows Urgent Action Needed

Every part of Government will need to take urgent action to bring down emissions, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today in response to the recent rise in New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions. The latest annual inventory of New ... More>>

ALSO:


Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>

ALSO:

Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels