Towns, Alison
July 2008
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Jul2008, Issue 34, p40
Academic Journal
Access to protection orders for women experiencing domestic violence has recently been identified as a problem in New Zealand, and ways of addressing this problem are now being developed. Police-initiated protection orders, called safety orders, have been proposed to provide immediate protection to women who experience domestic violence and to overcome some of the evidential difficulties that can arise through representation in the Family Court. This discussion paper was commissioned to provide a review of the literature relating to safety orders. The paper uses a conceptual framework to identify the implicit assumptions associated with safety orders initiated by the police, and then compares these assumptions with the relevant research findings relating to police interventions, the actions women take to protect themselves and the court's responses to breaches of protection orders. Finally, conclusions are drawn about the ongoing need for education of the police and court personnel, and the need for compassionate involvement of women and their advocates in new initiatives. Research is encouraged when new initiatives are under development in this area to detect unintended consequences.


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