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Weekly Media Roundup

September 15, 2016 at 12:06 PM

Govt's overhaul of family violence laws revealed

An overhaul of New Zealand's family violence laws has been revealed, aimed at faster and more effective intervention.

But lawyers who dealt with family violence issues have expressed concerns about the reforms, saying they do not go far enough and would only work if they are well-resourced.

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Strangulation, coercion to marry and family violence to be new crimes with tough sentences - Govt

Prime Minister John Key announced a $130m overhaul of the way family violence is dealt with by the justice system.

The $130m was new funding, which would help fund 66 new police officers as well as greater support for Child, Youth and Family social workers dealing with extreme family violence situations.

The Government had shied away from creating a range of offences for emotional and psychological abuse however, saying evidence was not convincing that measures around that were effective.

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High praise for family violence law revamp

An overhaul of family violence law which includes flagging all offences on criminal records and making victim safety the priority has been applauded by victim support groups.

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'I've seen the black eyes, no-one talks about it'

A government minister has recounted his experience with family violence as he spoke in support for proposed law changes.

Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell said having witnessed domestic violence as a child, he hoped the changes would help reduce the appalling statistics.

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Beneficiaries 'punished' for not naming child's father

A campaign is being launched to stop solo mothers having their benefit docked if they fail to identify the fathers of their children.

The sanction is designed to stop fathers dodging child support obligations, but the group Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) said it was excessively punitive, and children were the ones who suffer.

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Opinion: Causes of domestic violence go deep

Around 30 New Zealanders, mainly women and children, lose their lives to violence in the home each year, with thousands more affected in ways physical and psychological over long periods of time.

It’s a problem that has always needed urgent action. So moves to put children at the centre of the work and increase the response against offenders are welcome.

Of course, the changes coming – creating new offences like non-fatal strangulation and assault of family member – are part of the picture. But the picture of domestic violence is so much broader and deeper than that painted by the assault that may trigger harsher punishment.

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Paid leave for domestic violence victims now needed - union

One of New Zealand's biggest unions wants paid leave for domestic violence victims.

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Breaking down the 'social investment' approach

The Government is not rolling out a policy of social investment, ‘allocating money in the expectation of some benefit in the future’. The Government is not investing in children so they can lead more productive and fulfilling lives that will contribute to the current and future wellbeing of us all. The Government has just found another way to disguise its reduction in social spending.  

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Maori imprisoned at twice rate of Europeans for same crime

Maori are twice as likely to go to jail than Pakeha when convicted of assault, sparking fresh calls from MPs for a Government inquiry into the "biased" criminal justice system.

Ministry of Justice figures reveal in 2015, 26.3 per cent of Maori convicted of assault were imprisoned, compared to less than 13 per cent of Europeans - when both were found guilty of the same crime.

This divide is the largest it has been since figures are available from 1980.

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The NZ justice system chucks 17-year-olds in with adults, and it is a stain on our reputation

New Zealand 17-year-olds can’t vote, buy alcohol, gamble or marry. So why are they treated as adults once they’re arrested, asks Di White.

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Call from bleeding, suicidal teen 'the final straw' for stressed social worker

An investigation has been ordered into allegations by a senior social worker that there's a lack of ongoing trauma support for those dealing daily with domestic violence and vulnerable children.

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Refuge welcomes forced marriage law change

A new law banning forced marriage is being welcomed by the Shakti Women's Refuge, which says it's dealing with hundreds of cases involving coerced marriages.

Anyone coercing, threatening or intimidating someone into marriage now faces up to five years in prison in one of 50 law changes unveiled by the government yesterday, in a bid to reduce family violence.

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Why rape is not 'sex' and survivors don't 'confess'

Every time we write about survivors of crime "confessing" they have been attacked, every time we erase the woman who was murdered, every time we call rape "sex" and we mute the experiences of survivors, and every time we victim blame, we do the public an injustice, because we miss a real opportunity to inform, and instead we further cement damaging social attitudes that minimise, excuse or ignore the hard reality of violence. And we teach survivors that they should think twice before speaking out. We teach them that their voices are not valued.

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Jo Cribb: More than women's work

OPINION: It has been heartening to see an increasing interest in gender-equality issues. I have had fewer discussions about why we need a Ministry for Women and more conversations on the major issues affecting Kiwi women and girls, such as the gender pay gap, the rates of family violence and the lack of women in leadership. This is a great start, but I am still not seeing the changes we need.

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Demand grows for services helping children with 'inapproriate' sexual behaviour

After-school play dates immediately stopped when a youngster was found engaging in concerning sexualised behaviour with his peers at school.

Seven year-old Zack* is one of a growing number of children presenting to social service agencies in New Zealand with sexual behaviours deemed to be problematic.

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Category: News Media