Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 1

Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 1

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telecommunications property access and other measures amendment bill third reading call on government order of the day number two family and Farnell violence legislation bill first reading the Honorable Amy Adams Mr Speaker I move that the family and far no violence legislation bill be now read at first time I nominate the justice and electric committee to consider the bill mr. speaker the rate of family violence in New Zealand is simply unacceptable it has a devastating impact on individuals and communities that can spend generations and lifetimes in 2015 alone police investigated more than a hundred and ten thousand family violence incidents yet we know that up to three-quarters of violent under personal offenses by a family member and not reported to police growing up with family violence is a major risk factor for our children and young people we know that exposure to the support form of abuse has severe long-lasting effects including mental illness substance abuse offending self-harm and homelessness it’s time that this insidious intergenerational cycle ends that’s why this government has made reducing family violence a priority a number of cross-agency work programs are dedicated to improving the way we respond to family violence the ministerial group on family and sexual violence brought together ministers from sixteen portfolios and an unprecedented way with the aim of reducing the devastating impacts that family and sexual violence have on people and communities across the country the new ministry for vulnerable children or anger tamariki and consultation with the Ministry of Justice is exploring options for changing the behavior of young people who perpetrate family violence and a known to the Family Court the family and far no violence legislation bill I present today will underpin our response to Family Violence it will strengthen the family violence laws and build the legal framework necessary to deliver the wider components of our work program the changes in the bill have been shaped by the hundreds of submissions are received in response to my discussion document the bill makes these changes through a package of reforms with two main parts firstly the bill amends the current domestic violence act 90 95 this core piece of legislation will be updated to insurance but for purpose and aligns with modern understanding of family violence excuse me changes would also empower the family court to consider Family Violence matters and make temporary protection orders when considering proceedings and the care of children act secondly the bill will make important changes to criminal law including the Bay lacked the Crimes Act the Criminal Procedure Act the evidence act and the sentencing act the changes to these acts will seek to respond better to family violence and the criminal context I want to begin by touching on key changes being made to the domestic violence act when the domestic violence act was first enacted in 1995 it was regarded as a significant advancement and dealing with domestic violence since then expectations and understandings of family violence have developed and new evidence about how to stop violence occurring continues to emerge it’s obvious that more can be done to recognize and reduce the occurrences of family violence changes to the law and needed to ensure it can continue to support and guide breast practice across the entire system domestic violence is commonly understood as being violence against an intimate partner however we know that domestic violence effects more than just intimate partners the bill will change the name of the domestic violence act to the family and far no violence act changing the term domestic to family and far no more clearly acknowledges the violence that occurs in a wide range of family and far no relationships the amendments within the act better reflect the many forms of violence and the harms that it causes while bringing our legislation more in line with overseas legislation and research responses to the discussion document indicated that people supported having principles in the law they acknowledge the principles can be used to guide decisions made by those in the sector and identify the objectives of the Act the bill introduces 12 new principles at the beginning of the Act these place emphasis on the need to maximize the safety of victims and the importance of ensuring culturally appropriate responses for Mari in addition the principles focus on the requirement for effective responses for perpetrators of family violence an important focus of the reforms is to enable earlier more effective intervention for both victims and perpetrators police safety orders were introduced in 2010 they enable a police officer to order a perpetrator out of the home for up to five days to protect the safety of the people at that address these tools these orders have become an effective tool for police officers attending family violence incidents the bill I introduced today will make better use of the opportunity that police safety orders create for early intervention police will be able to direct a person to a risk and needs assessment when they’re bound by a PSO the assessment is the first step in linking a perpetrator with the right services to help change their behavior if we can address the perpetrators violent behavior earlier we can better help to keep victim safe in the longer term many who responded to the discussion document told me that applying for protection orders can sometimes be difficult they supported the idea of having someone else able to apply for a protection order on behalf of the victim change is made by this bill will give the Minister of Justice the ability to approve third parties who can apply for protection orders on behalf of the victims and shifts responsibility away from solely sitting on the victims shoulders for their own safety the bill also clarifies that special conditions can and should be imposed on protection orders and some circumstances special conditions are particularly important for people with additional vulnerabilities such as older age or a disability this change will enable orders to be better tailored to the needs of the vulnerable making them more effective we no harm to victims can be prevented by changing the behavior of perpetrators this requires earlier and more effective interventions however perpetrators aren’t always connected to the right services and protection orders create another opportunity to address this this bill makes changes that would allow perpetrators to be referred to a wider range of services when a protection order is issued against them and the future they will be assessed according to their risks and needs which will signal which services they should be attending the court will be able to direct that attendance at those services is mandatory as we know that targeted services can be important and addressing violent behaviour services will look to be culturally appropriate incorporating toccoa restorative approaches we’re relevant buy more directly addressing the specific issues a perpetrator has will be in a better place to protect victims and prevent future violence responses to family violence are more effective mr. speaker when those evolved had the full picture better access to information is necessary to prevent harm to victims and to better assess risk and needs however actual and perceived barriers to sharing information negatively impacts agencies abilities to work together resulting in difficulties and delays for those affected by family violence I’m introducing a number of bespoke information sharing provisions to enable the family violence sector to share information the new provisions make it clear that those specified agencies and professionals are able to receive use and share information with each other for the purposes of bitter responding to family violence strong safeguards will ensure that only relevant and appropriate information is shared the sharing of relevant information will enable quicker and more effective responses to those requiring support these new provisions will help to provide a foundation for a more cohesive and integrated system the second part of the bill and then amines the criminal law acts I outlined earlier so that family violence is more appropriately addressed as a criminal matter three new offenses will be introduced significantly this includes a new offensive strangulation and suffocation international evidence tells us that the likelihood of a person being killed by their partner is significantly increased when they’ve been strangled by that partner previously we want to send a clear message that this type of behavior should not and will not be tolerated the offensive strangulation and suffocation will have a maximum sentence of seven years in prison offences of coercion to marry and assault on family members will also be introduced assault on a family member will complement the existing offensive male assaults female it recognizes that for example violence against a daughter against daughter by her mother or violence against a brother as unacceptable as is violence by a male against a female partner mr. speaker family violence is prosecuted under a range of criminal offenses currently there is no way to accurately identify family violence offending zeeeee which can lead to decision making and responses a new system of flagging family violence offenses through the criminal justice system will be introduced identifying a perpetrators pattern of behavior we made easier and it will provide valuable information to decision makers including the judiciary and police recording a family violence offense on the permanent court record reflects the seriousness of offending against someone that you’re in a family relationship with it also provide the opportunity for the nature of family violence to be considered for example at bail decisions Mr Speaker we know that New Zealand must do better to reduce family violence everyone should have the opportunity to lead healthy and fulfilling lives everyone should have a home that is free from violence effective laws are a cornerstone of how we can address family violence however legislative change cannot be the whole answer to make a positive long lasting difference we need behaviors and attitudes to change creating an effective integrated system requires everyone who plays apart and preventing and reducing family violence to get involved mr. speaker this bill will help to drive that change together we can develop an integrated Family Violence system that will support better practices better outcomes and better better safety for the victims of family violence in New Zealand I commend the bill proudly to the house question is that the motion be agreed to portal will you thank

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