KEEP CHIL­DREN SAFE

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place -

Last week the Sen­tenc­ing (Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence) Pri­vate Mem­bers Bill in my name was pulled from the bal­lot and will be de­bated in Par­lia­ment.

The in­creas­ing num­bers of in­ci­dences of re­ported do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence cases lifts the lid on the sever­ity of the chal­lenge we have as a coun­try.

Our re­gion is well ser­viced by the Waikato Women’s Refuge – Te Whakaru­ruhau who are the only ser­vice that pro­vides a 24 hour on­call helpline.

To en­sure ad­e­quate protection for vic­tims of vi­o­lence. But as an in­te­gral part of the so­lu­tion the refuge strug­gles to get ad­e­quate fund­ing for the good work that it does.

The Bill was in­spired by Judge Boshier and aims to fill a gap to en­able judges to see the his­tory of an of­fender’s do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­clud­ing com­plaints and con­vic­tions when mak­ing de­ci­sions at the fam­ily court level.

This will sup­port more ap­pro­pri­ate sen­tenc­ing con­sid­er­a­tions and a long-term ap­proach to cre­ate bet­ter pol­icy op­tions to pre­vent do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

There is no ex­cuse for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence but there are also mul­ti­ple and com­pound­ing fac­tors that im­pact on fam­i­lies and in par­tic­u­lar chil­dren.

I want to ac­knowl­edge my col­leagues Sue Moroney and Poto Wil­liams who crafted the Bill and are strong ad­vo­cates in the space of women and chil­dren.

As a trus­tee of the Waikato Women’s Refuge I am­pleased that this Bill will have a chance to be de­bated and I will cer­tainly highlight that lack of fund­ing for cri­sis ser­vices es­pe­cially dur­ing peak stress points dur­ing the year such as hol­i­day pe­ri­ods.

It’s time to look for com­pre­hen­sive solutions to keep whanau vi­o­lence free and care for our chil­dren.

Con­tact Waikato Women’s Refuge on 0800 733843 and fol­low the prompts, or email refuge@wwrt.co.nz or fol­low their Face­book page @ Waikato Women’s Refuge.

-Nanaia Mahuta, MP­for Hau­raki/Waikato

Nanaia Mahuta Mata­mata Twi­light Fair at Headon Sta­dium. Has the pub­lic fa­cil­ity had its day?

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