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DVC10

Domestic violence - radical changes

NZ $50.00
incl GST
Judge de Jong Ingrid Squire
Dudge de Jong
Auckland District Court
Auckland
Ingrid Squire
Gifford Devine
Hastings

Published: 9 June, 2010
Pages: 138

Introduction

When addressing the 1999 New Zealand National Violence Conference Dr Astrid Heger likened family violence to an infectious disease which is transmitted sexually.  She suggested some people become too diseased to be cured.  However, she expressed a firm belief that children can be cured, and identified children witnessing violence as being a key issue affecting their learning.  Dr Heger said she was excited about work being done in her own country (USA) as a result of the Surgeon-General issuing a declaration that violence is the number one health problem in that country. Despite this, eleven years on, the number of family violence deaths in USA continues to rise.

In New Zealand, violence is a disease which is injuring and killing increasing numbers of each year.  The physical, emotional and financial cost to our community has reached epidemic proportions.  Many children learn about anger and violence before they learn to read.  The effects of physical and emotional abuse on children witnessing family violence are well documented. 

This seminar deals with a range of new legislative changes intended to address our problem of rising family violence. Some of the new legislative changes have already been implemented.  Other changes will take effect from 1 July 2010.  Yet more legislation is proposed and currently before parliament.

We suggest the “It’s Not OK” TV anti-violence slogan is not simply a campaign to make people understand that “it’s not OK” to be violent but also a message to our community that each of us can play a part to address or convey that message. 

It is important that you, as a family law practitioner, understand why legislative change is necessary, what it is designed to achieve, and how you can use your new-found knowledge to assist your clients. 

This seminar begins by looking at some statistics to highlight family violence as a growing problem in New Zealand.  That is followed by an outline of what has been done so far to address family violence in our country. 

Against that background we embark on an analysis of the latest legislation designed to make families in New Zealand safer by changing domestic violence, sentencing and bail legislation.  Our seminar will consider the likely effects of these changes.  These changes include the introduction of police safety orders and we look at how similar orders have worked in Australia.

We analyse the effect of a recent decision in which the Court of Appeal is said by one commentator to have delivered a “potentially revolutionary decision, as it changes quite radically the ground rules for granting protection orders”.  It is important to understand the significance of that decision.

This booklet ends with information about offender profiles and victim behaviour.  If you have a better understanding about violent offenders and victims of violent offences, that is likely to enhance your insight into how to deal with your clients and dispense legal advice.

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