There's a consultation on New Zealand's Family Violence Laws. It closes on 18th of September. You can submit anonymously if you want.
Fill in the form or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Put your name and email address in there if you want to hear back from them.
If you' do email - putting the question number beside your comments will help when results are tabulated.
You can just answer one of the questions or just make one point but if you're using the form you'll need to scroll through to the end to submit.
I have three sections in this post:
Three Key Messages
Question 5, 16 and 22
Some more detailed Key Messages for consultation
Question 5 What changes to legal tools and powers would ensure the law keeps pace with advances in understanding of family violence and how to address it?
Question 7 Does the current legal framework for family violence address the needs of vulnerable population groups, in particular disabled and elderly people? How could it be improved to better meet the needs of these groups?
Question 10 What changes to the current definition of ‘domestic violence’ would ensure it supports understanding of family violence and improves responses?
Question 13 How could including principles in the law reflect the nature and dynamics of family violence?
Question 16 What changes could enhance the effectiveness, use and enforcement of protection orders?
Question 22 How should risks to children and to adult victims be reflected in parenting arrangements under the Care of Children Act 2004? How could parenting orders and protection orders be better aligned?
Question 24 What changes, if any, could be made to the criminal law to better respond to family violence, including the cumulative harm caused by patterns of family violence?
Why I think you should (if you can) submit
I think it's worth submitting because if enough of us say some sensible things about how to stop people getting hurt by family members the government might just listen. Or if they don't then we can make it really embarrassing for them. I won't even going into the harrowing statistics about violence in this country, because you probably know them. There's some statistics on the consultation pages.
Many of the agencies who support survivors and victims of violence have to distance themselves a bit from this sort of advocacy work because it can threaten the government funding. That's funding which helps them get victims to safety. Most of the agencies are horribly underfunded and don't have time or resources to do this advocacy work even if they could.
The key things are suggestions made by friends of mine in the who have been working for survivors and victims of violence for many years (decades!). They think these things could make a real difference.
If you do submit by email, use the numbers from the form (which I've provided) as this will help those tabulating the results put your comment in the right place.
This is pulled together quickly, misses lots of questions and others may have many other pointers for you. If you want me to link to some other submissions or pointers put it in the comments so others can see. I'll delete if I don't like them.
I know for all of you this takes time and for some of you great bravery. It's fine if you can't do this and I hope those who are able will do it to show their support to you.
I may add more suggestions along the way.
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