Politicians answer: Violence against women

National Council of Women of New Zealand asked each political party what they would do to reduce violence against women. Their answers are as follows:

ACT_PARTY_LOGOACT:

There have been significant reductions in violence against women over the preceding 4 years. The courses run by the Justice Department have been very effective in many cases and international research shows that the best way to reduce violence against women if for men to “own the problem”.

The propensity for Courts to apply name suppression has not always been in the best interest of those who have been assaulted. The only person who can determine whether it is in that person’s best interest, is that person.  The Courts should be required to seek the views of those who have been assaulted in making name suppression determinations and for that view to be given significant weight.

New Zealand is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women which requires that states tackle domestic violence as a form of discrimination. ACT proposes that violence against women forms part of the Three Strikes Policy. However, ACT is also concerned about very high levels of false reporting of violence against women and children, mostly in the context of custody disputes. ACT proposes that the same tariff penalties apply to men or women who make false complaints of assault or sexual violence as the actual perpetrators of that violence.

    2009 2010 2011
TOTAL RECORDED MALE ASSAULTS FEMALE OFFENCES 9583 8925 7896
Number of resolved Male Assaults Female 8865 8185 7242
% of recorded offences 93% 92% 92%
TOTAL RECORDED OFFENCES FOR BREACHING A PROTECTION ORDER 5278 5332 5232
Number of resolved breaches of Protection Order offences. 4759 4694 4759
% of recorded offences 90% 88% 91%

Source: New Zealand Police published in NZFVC Data Summary: Violence Against Women 2013

Green party:

The Green Party has been one of the most active voices in calling for more action on domestic violence. We have repeatedly called on the government to act and work with NGOs in the sector to address this endemic problem. The Green Party believes a total overhaul is needed to address the problem in New Zealand. We are committed to a complete review of our laws, policies and funding to address this problem at a national and local level.

The government needs to provide leadership when it comes to paving the way for a change in the way that we see and deal with domestic violence. Violence against women and children was raised as an issue in New Zealand’s Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations, and it is vital we take their recommendations and concerns into account. We will also progress our members Bill to provide workplace protections for victims of domestic

Internet party:

We will:

  • Incorporate gender equality education into curricula from primary school.
  • Introduce media literacy programmes into schools, and communities.
  • Incorporate gender education for professionals and service providers.
  • Roll out a national media campaign targeting “rape culture” (challenging aggressive, control-oriented, sexually opportunistic, “macho” masculinity).
  • Promote women’s economic opportunities and independence.
  • Provide increased, and sustained financial support for agencies working with violence.
  • Modify the legal procedure for dealing with gender-based violence to incorporate a gender, power and social justice perspective.
  • Train Police, lawyers and judges.
  • Target new forms of gender-based violence such as online sexual harassment and ‘trolling’ against women/girls.
  • Men and boys must be directly involved in preventing violence.

nz_labour_logoLabour:

Labour will adopt a collaborative, resourced, long-term New Zealand Action Plan to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Children in consultation with other parties and the sector. We will provide $60 million over four years for family and sexual violence to support front line services, primary prevention, and education. We will reform the justice system to provide real justice to survivors while protecting the right to be presumed innocent. Labour will review prosecution guidelines to ensure Police appropriately and consistently arrest and charge offenders, and review the operation of Protection Orders.

Mana12Mana Movement:

  • Promote in every way practicable a culture of non-violence in the home, school, and communities.
  • Resource and support marae-based programmes that work to restore whanau wellbeing.
  • Resource and support parenting education in schools, and increase funding for quality parent and family support programmes in the community.
  • Provide stable, sufficient funding for women’s refuge, rape crisis, men’s stopping violence groups and other organisations working to support those affected by family violence.
  • Provide free counselling and well subsidised legal support for those affected by family and sexual violence.
  • Provide appropriate frontline support for rape and domestic violence.
  • MANA also recognises the role that reducing poverty plays in reducing violence, and is committed to taking all possible steps to end poverty, including setting a comprehensive plan for its elimination and monitoring progress towards it.

National-Party-3National:

We recently introduced a cross-Government package to address family violence. This includes:

  • establishing a Chief Victims Advisor
  • trialling GPS technology to keep victims safer
  • testing an intensive case management service for victims at high risk of serious harm or death
  • exploration of a conviction disclosure scheme.

We are developing a comprehensive, long-term approach to break the cycle of family violence through focusing on changing attitudes and behaviours towards family violence, and using early interventions for drug and alcohol addiction.

Budget 2014 is providing $10.4 million to support sexual violence services over the next two years.

Prevention is paramount, so the Government has launched the ‘Are you that someone’ campaign which encourages young people to identify the signs that they may be at risk of sexual violence.

NZFirstNZ First:

New Zealand First has voted against the recent changes to the Family Court and would seek to reverse and then improve the process for women. We have made a commitment to fund the “Healthy Relationships” programme in secondary schools for both gender in an attempt to stop another generation of victims.  As I have mentioned at a recent women’s groups meeting we would be supportive of a “believe women” stand balanced by an enforcement of the “false accusations” provisions inside current law.

UnitedFutureNewZealandLogoUnited Future:

United Future would recognise that men and women are both perpetrators and victims and target family violence policy accordingly.

We would ensure that police co-ordinate closely with social service and child protection agencies in each community, including automatic referral of any criminal activity that involves children, to improve responses to domestic violence and child abuse.

We would work with all parties that form the next Government to ensure the Law Commission’s findings on alternative trial processes for sexual assaults are implemented as best as possible.

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  1. Politicians speak out on gender equality « LiveNews.co.nz - 29 August 2014

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