Promote respectful relationships this White Ribbon Day
Justice Minister Amy Adams has today encouraged all New Zealanders to stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence against women this White Ribbon Day.
“Family violence and sexual violence is far too common in New Zealand. It’s a challenge that this Government is confronting, but we all have a role to play in tackling it,” says Ms Adams.
“As a nation, we need to stop family violence in all its forms.”
White Ribbon Day is an international movement that asks men to stand up in their communities and speak out against violence towards women.
“Responding to family violence in particular is an area the Government is heavily committed to and where we are determined to limit the devastating impact it has on New Zealanders,” says Ms Adams.
“The home should be a safe place, but for many New Zealanders, it’s not. We need to speak out about the violence in homes and communities because it’s simply too important not to.”
In September the Government announced the Safer Sooner: Strengthening family violence laws. The proposed changes will improve how the Government responds to family violence to keep victims safe, and stop perpetrators using violence.
Key changes include:
- creating new family violence offences, including non-fatal strangulation
- removing barriers to protection orders by making it easier to apply and allowing others to apply on a victim’s behalf
- making safety the primary consideration in all bail decisions and central to parenting and property orders.
“On White Ribbon Day, I would like to pass on my gratitude to those New Zealanders who are passionately and tirelessly working to help victims feel safe and secure,” says Ms Adams.
“The Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence is committed to reducing family violence by looking at ways to deal with incident responses, risk assessment tools, and victim and perpetrator interventions.”
The Justice Sector is also focussing on supporting victims of family violence, improving victims’ experience of the justice system and supporting judicial decision-making in cases involving family violence. This includes helping improve information sharing in family violence cases, increase access to safety services and to support access to protection orders.
Each year in New Zealand there are over 3500 convictions recorded against men for assaults on women and it is estimated that one in four women will experience sexual violence or abuse in their lifetimes.