Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 4

Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 4

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and I can mean the spill to the house just syndrome to thank you mr. speaker I’m missing here I certainly share the view that the despite and discussion around the family & phyno violence legislation by the Select Committee where it will eventually be referred will indeed be constructive and that’s because this process to date has been constructive we acknowledge that when Amy Adams as Minister of Justice first flagged her intention to do review work in this area she offered up to members of this house to engage with her in that process and labor was quick to take up that offer as were other parties in fact we reached out to the minister we wrote to the minister a letter co-signed by myself portal Williams Kelvin Davis and other caucus members who had an interest in this area all reached out to the minister asking the opportunity to meet with her she accepted that offer and to her credit board and other members of parliament to sit down and have an initial briefing with her and at that point we put before the minister some real areas of concern some of which I’ll touch on today in which my colleague Peter Williams has also expanded upon in large part our view that the preventive work that we need to do is still really under-resourced that the ability of people to access service without having been referred through the formal justice system is still inadequate and that ultimately throughout our justice system this still needs to be competency built around identifying and working appropriately with those who are the victims of domestic violence and so there are a range of elements where we will be seeking and to really flesh out and build upon some of the initial suggestions that are being made in this legislation having said that we also as a party put in a submission into this process because we did want to use every opportunity we had to be constructive and will continue to do so but in my opening comments mr. speaker and as well as acknowledging that openness via the minister I also want to acknowledge family violence a fix everything it affects absolutely everything and to be honest as a member of parliament I did not grasp that in its entirety until I really had the opportunity to work on the children’s portfolio to the degree that I have and have seen the impact of family violence on children and then on children as they go to adolescence and then as adolescents who go on to parent themselves and I think probably one of the points were really at home and I’ve spoken about this before was the moment when I put in an IA to the coroner’s court to access all of the reports so the coroner had done on children who had died and sub skill and actually at that time I was I was seeking through the information on the way that we had failed our most vulnerable children offer it was off the back of a horrific case of a child who had committed suicide well dance obscure now I had an expectation of seeing cases of perhaps sooty of abuse of a range of things that you see in our in our media reports I did not expect to see the number of cases of children who had been known to Child Youth and Family who had taken their own lives who had witnessed on an ongoing basis domestic violence in their home I did not expect to see that and when I saw that I remember asking down the tracker police officer who worked intensively in the area of family violence I raised with him that correlation and he said it was a correlation he had seen in his own district to this point that he had gone back through the files of those call-outs that related to mental health or distress call outs and then linked them to domestic violence call outs and the correlation was undeniable undeniable so this is not only pervasive and but it affects a child’s brain development we have the research and evidence to tell us that now now I raised that mrs. wicked so that we don’t look at this issue in isolation and that we understand that investment in this area is investment in a child and protect in a child’s future as well as the protective parents future as well and so that’s why I feel so very very strongly about the work that we’re doing here I want to pick up on a couple of the specifics in the boot just to give an example we will be seeking extra work now we raised early on that it was our view that protection orders at the moment hundreds of protection orders that where there has been an application for legal aid are denied now that would surprise a lot of people that the idea that someone who is seeking financial support in order to seek assistance with a protection order might be denied that it was our view that a lit the process of accessing a protection order should be free now the mechanism we can discuss being a Community Law Center be an automatic legal aid process whatever the mechanism is up the debate the principal was the same for us and the idea that our partner for instance who might be in a financial a financially bound to the person that they are seeking a protection order against how can you test asset test that person against what might might might be the assets of their abuser for which they’re seeking a protection order from so it made sense for us to make that as accessible as possible the second point was a particular as only as good as the enforcement of that order we have a long way to go for individuals to have faith in the system that if they seek help when a protection order is breached that that help will be swift and uniform and response now that’s where I refer back to the idea of competency you know I remember asking a legal aid lawyer to give me some examples once of cases without seeing breaches of protection orders that are not being followed through appropriately and their example was you know if an isolation a police officer as has alluded to them that a protection order has been breached and it might be in the form of some flowers being left on the doorstep now for police officer sees that in isolation as an individual case they might just simply take sympathy or empathy empathize that it’s someone trying to make amends without seeing perhaps the markers of walking behavior the abuse that’s happened in the lead up to that event that actually really building an understanding of the different markers of domestic violence and abusive relationships is incredibly important when it comes to effectively enforcing protection orders we also need have a conversation when talking about the ability of others to make applications on behalf of individuals for protection orders that we still ultimately rely on the victim to enforce them and that does that does come with is hugely problematic as well so this is these are all things that we would like to debate and discuss and select committee the other issue that I want to raise is that I think it’s absolutely right that when making parenting arrangements in the family court that we require the court to consider whether a protection order has been made we have cases but and I know this because I have seen them where there have been you know medical files demonstrating the abuse physical substantiated physical abuse in a relationship we there will still be a shared custody order which forces the protective hearing to have an ongoing relationship with the abuser now the issue i take here is that that makes an assumption that as soon as you remove the intimate partner from that a relationship that that individual presents no no threat or risk to a child that’s the assumption that we’re making there we’ve got to have a debate around the way that parenting orders work with our protection orders in place because there are a lot of contradictions when there are substantiated abuse and relationships where we still have ongoing contact with the abuser and a child I want to add to that that if we’re going to have that if we’re going to have that discussion we actually need to go back and review the way the family court reforms are working or not working we were promised a review this year and I would ask the minister if we want the domestic violence legislation that we’re reviewing now to be comprehensive and folsom we absolutely I would say first need to review the family law reforms because they are hugely problematic they are hugely problematic and are contributing to this problem Tim fold and it is very hard to separate them out and way that we’re being asked to do as a parliament so I would really enforce that need again for us to review and those those reforms secondly a second connection point is this legislation with the way that we operate our care and protection system you know I think that we have to acknowledge that there are cases where we’re Child Youth and Family as it was known have in cases where there is domestic violence gone to a protective partner and some essentially said unless you leave we will remove your children we know that’s happening we know that’s happening and and the trauma the OPP trauma that that creates we make an assumption that that removes a child from harm without acknowledging the trauma of removal from a childhood in some cases will view themselves as the protector of the parent in that abusive relationship it’s a really simplistic view look I understand how how how many practitioners may have come to that place but it lacks it lacks a full understanding of what’s happening in those in those relationships and we need we need to have a conversation about what’s happening to children and those homes and take a systemic response to children who are living in homes where there is pervasive domestic violence Jono Naylor

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