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Domestic Violence Act, POs and GPS?

January 22, 2014 at 10:29 AM

The Livingstone children murders by their father in Dunedin highlight the toothless nature of Protection Orders.

It happened in the course of Family Court reforms now being implemented on these and other changes.

New Zealand deaths and homicides of protected family members have increased in recent years which raises serious questions as to the efficacy of Protection ORders.

These orders were originally intended in the Domestic Violence Act 1995 to protect women, mothers and their children from any dangers or threats to their safety and life as the family separates or sorts out its affairs with the help of the family court. It is meant to keep the perpetrator of Domestic violence away from the victims usually mother and children.

Mr Livingstone was discharged without conviction on 2 breaches of the Protection Order against him to which he admitted. The Protection Orders were not enforced as they should as other factors were rated above the safety of the children and their mother.

The Family Court Reforms had increased the penalty for breach of Protection Order from 2 years to 3 years so signify the severity of this offence, as Minister Judith Collins explains. Increasing the penalty also responds to the high numbers close to 2000 breaches a year over the last 5 years.

That is a big number of breaches and may indicate that perpetrators are feeling undeterred by it. Sadly in this case the perpetrator was not imprisoned.

What do you think about the Minister's proposal to use GPS on perpetrators who are served with Protection Orders?

If you want to read more some related news articles and press release on these issues here.

If you care to sign a public petition on this very issue, check out this Facebook page on Real Protection for Domestic Violence Victims.

Category: News Media