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On March 15, Justice Minister Amy Adams introduced a bill into parliament that would overhaul aspects of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.
Changes include making the process for obtaining a protection order easier for victims, as well as allowing earlier intervention to connect victims and perpetrators to services that may reduce the risk of violence.
The Bill also includes provisions to help those in need without the necessity of them having to go to court, and creates three new offenses — non-fatal strangulation, coercion to marry, and assault on a family members.
Amy Adams suggested that New Zealand has “the highest reported rate of intimate partner violence in the developed world.”
A press release from Adams’ office stated that authorities “respond to over 110,000 family violence incidents a year, yet an estimated 80 per cent of incidents are not reported to Police.”
The announcement came a week after a bill, proposed by Green Party MP Jan Logie, that would give victims of domestic violence up to ten days’ paid leave passed its first reading in Parliament.