Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 6

Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill – First Reading – Video 6

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and look forward to seeing it come through Jen Logan Thank You mr. speaker and so it’s been widely acknowledged tonight that we have a real problem in this country with sexual domestic violence and child abuse I think it’s uncomfortable to say but we do have an epidemic of this violence you know and I’ve got no doubt that F 2.5% of this country at any one time or fifteen to twenty percent of people over a lifetime in this country got a virus that was completely debilitating for years and might even kill them then we would have had a different response but that’s actually the exact situation that we’re in with the levels of intimate partner violence alone in this country domestic violence is that serious a problem and the good news about there looking at it that way is that it focuses our attention on the fact that if we intervene properly it is something that we can change it’s an epidemic that we can turn around the Green Party will be supporting the family and far no violence bill of course we will note just last term of parliament I gave over 30 speeches in this house I’m advocating for reform of our laws and policies relating to domestic and sexual violence so in many ways and for me at least it’s a real relief to be able to get the opportunity to start debating this legislation it is well overdue and while i was giving those features last to him and again this term and you know they i have to acknowledge there have been some small discrete pieces of legislation that have passed that might be helpful and but also we have seen very significant erosion to our family court protections housing and social security which all provide vital protections for items and measures of accountability when done right for perpetrators and those things together over time of fundamentally undermined protections which we need to be addressing and I do want to just briefly go through some of those areas of concern so that people listening can consider whether the legislation that’s in front of us today is going to address the clawbacks that we’ve seen over recent times so under the national government we’ve seen changes to the police prosecution guidelines making it harder for victims to get cases to court and for perpetrators to get access to programs to change their behavior we’ve seen reforms to the family court that removed protections for the victims of domestic violence and were roundly criticized as focusing on money-saving rather than safety and I’m hearing in the community now which has absolutely horrified me if I’m honest advocate saying and refuge that they now are at times advising victims not to go to the family court because the decisions that in coming out of some of our family courts are putting those victims and their children and more danger than not going into the court and we have been promised a review on this as has already been pointed out but we do need to be considering those things at the same time it doesn’t make sense to be looking at changes to domestic violence legislation and not consider those reforms and the impact of them in the family court because part of those reforms we’ve seen a loss of 25% of family law lawyers which has made the systems of support much more difficult to access and the restrictions that were put on legal aid resulted in some women paying thousands of dollars for protection orders which they can’t even guarantee will keep them or their children safe because we the courts are not consistently responding to them and acting on breeches and police in some cases are being told off for bringing minor breaches to the court and wasting the Court’s time because that under so much pressure and then the perpetrators are seeing that is kind of a free card and the violence is escalating and we’re seeing much more harm so we really have to be looking at those things in a package we’ve seen an increase in the number of domestic violence cases going to restorative justice even though virtually no restorative justice practitioners in this country have been trained to safely work with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and there is nothing in this legislation that is actually acknowledging that or providing any guidance of the appropriateness or indeed a level of skill that should be required for doing that work there’s been a reduction in baseline funding for specialist agencies that mean that they’ve had to reduce paid hours cut services and spend money on a national fundraising campaign to try and raise money for a child advocate in refuges and this is why we’re talking about this more and demand is going up and we’re seeing the police deal with this more and the very services that are able to provide the support I having to cut back it doesn’t make sense and this legislation in the context we’ve been given of it isn’t addressing that and we’ve seen those further loss of specialist co papa mali services which we know are essential for effective processes for Marty and the introduction of a presumption of shared parenting and the Family Court and a provision and the vulnerable Children’s Act that makes it easier for children to be separated from their protective parent as a result of the behavior of an abusive parent and that’s all really been touched on by and jacinda ardern but it is really critical to understand that while the outcomes of that are deeply profound and as part of the reason for the cycle of violence because one of the things that results from that reality is that a child is a lift not understanding who was wrong and often they’ll think they are wrong and that the person who had the power and used the abuse was no worse than the parent that was trying to protect them it seems not children no message about the direction and where we stand on our values as a country and it’s critical that we change that and there’s very little and this legislation that does that and on top of all this we’ve seen changes to housing New Zealand and work and income that make it much much harder for victims to re-establish themselves after leaving a violent relationship and of course you know these have just been more barriers in the way of victims being able to get and become safe and the system has been described by various reports as broken fragmented and inconsistent with gaps and overlaps and no infrastructure to hold together all these services and outcomes and I’m going to certainly be interested in the conversation that we have and select committee to test whether this is going to provide that structure is this legislation the answer to that broken system because on my first reading of it I have a concern that maybe it’s not we have an epidemic we need a response worthy of that to actually let New Zealand know that we can turn this around we can build safety in our communities and we need this response to seriously start doing that I do however you know considering all of those terrible changes that we’ve been seeing over the last few years I do particularly want to acknowledge the minister Amy Adams for whom I wholehearted congratulations for getting this work on the table because it is a turnaround from what we’ve been seeing and I don’t at all underestimate the amount of work and the political skill that must have gone into her being able to get this across the line as inadequate as I might think it is it is a very significant change in this government’s approach and I do there’s just a few other points I’d want to touch on is that in the regulatory impact statement that it’s pointed out that there’s other allied work going on and this isn’t everything and that they talked about the Child Youth and Family reforms as allied to this but there’s that for me is quite problematic because that legislation adds domestic violence in a completely token since it’s not at all integrated and doesn’t address that the problems of victims of domestic violence have been reporting to us for years and i also want to that people I’ve spoken to about the bill are quite disappointed that there’s nothing in here that’s significant around the reforms of the care of the child act or the vulnerable Children’s Act and it also talks about the work that’s happening around sexual violence and the court process is there and i would point like to point out to this house that we’ve been waiting almost a decade for that work and we still haven’t got it yet so it’s pretty difficult to have confidence and met I call Tracy Martin

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