New Zealand Law Society - Effective family violence system is goal says Minister

Effective family violence system is goal says Minister

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Achieving an integrated and effective family violence system that is joined up, aligned and making a difference is a key Government objective, Justice Minister Amy Adams has said.

In a speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Ms Adams said preventing and reducing family violence is her top priority as Justice Minister. 

photo of Amy Adams
Justice Minister Amy Adams. 

She said the Government Ministerial Group on Family Violence is a high-powered group sitting at the very centre of decision-making, with Ministers from across 16 portfolios.

"This group spearheads a cross-government family violence work programme that concentrates on stopping family violence from occurring, getting victims the help they need, and holding perpetrators to account."

Ms Adams said the Chief Victims Advisor, appointed in November 2015, will provide advice about how to improve the responsiveness of the justice system and make it easier for victims to navigate and get the services they need.

"We are also undertaking a review of our family violence laws to develop legislation that better supports victims to be safe and holding perpetrators to account," she said.

"We've improved judges' access to information in family violence cases by improving information sharing regulations and ensured Police are able to disclose known risk information to family members who may be at risk.

"Across the wider Government response we are analysing every aspect of the system's response, from primary prevention education, to risk assessment and workforce development, through initial response, legal process, victim safety and support and better perpetrator management.  We have accepted that we can and must do more and significant change will only occur if we are open to considerable change in how the system responds."

Ms Adams was the first New Zealand Minister to deliver a speech to the UN Human Rights Council.

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