Violence at home can be devastating, particularly to children who risk long-term psychological harm.
No one has the right to strike another, have sexual contact with someone without permission or use intimidation, threats or humiliation.
The Domestic Violence Act 1995 aims to prevent violence in domestic relationships by giving courts the power to issue orders to prevent further harm and stop or restrict contact with the violent person. Protection orders are issued through the Family Courts.
We may not cover all issues relevant to your needs and so we do advise you to seek further legal advice.
Domestic violence includes physical, sexual or psychological abuse such as:
- physical violence - hitting, punching, kicking or in any way assaulting
- sexual abuse
- using threats and intimidation
- verbal abuse
- constant humiliation and criticism
- threatening your children
- allowing children to see or hear domestic violence
- damaging your property or pets
- trying to control your time, money, what you do and who you see.
Domestic violence refers to violence against you by anyone you have, or have had, a domestic relationship with. This includes:
- parents and children
- family or whānau members
- couples - married or unmarried
- gay or lesbian relationships
- anyone who shares a household such as flat-mates
- people in a close personal relationship.
You do not have to be living together to be covered by the Domestic Violence Act.
If the relationship is just that of landlord and tenant, employer and employee or co-worker, it is not a 'close personal relationship'.
Assault and threatening violence are crimes. If the Police are involved they will investigate to see if there are grounds to charge and criminally prosecute. This is a separate to protecting the victims of domestic violence.
If you or your children are in danger, call the Police. They take domestic violence seriously and can respond straight away.
- Domestic violence - Protection orders
- Domestic violence - help available
- Family Court pamphlets in various languages on domestic violence, protection orders, support programmes, children's needs.
- Family violence - are you okay? - An article about how violence affects children and how to seek help by Raising Children in New Zealand.