KEEP CHILDREN SAFE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or follow their Facebook page @ Waikato Women’s Refuge.
-Nanaia Mahuta, MPfor Hauraki/Waikato
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