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Secrecy No Answer To Domestic Violence

Filed under: Domestic Violence — domviol @ 11:16 am Sat 18th September 2004

Dr Muriel Newman – Press Releases – Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today predicted that New Zealand would never be able to reduce its levels of domestic violence so long as the Family Court protects perpetrators behind closed doors.

“On Radio New Zealand today, Chief Family Court Judge Peter Boshier explained that an open Family Court could impact badly on children in violent families,” Dr Newman said.

“But, by dealing with domestic violence in private, the Family Court is effectively protecting perpetrators of a particularly reprehensible act from the scrutiny of a public that has little tolerance for such a crime, and allowing false allegations to remain untested.

“The question must also be asked as to why these cases are not then referred to the District Court, so that the offenders can be brought to justice – rather than allowing domestic violence to be swept under the carpet as part of a custody and access dispute.

“The Family Court should be an open court. Those who seek to protect the court’s privacy are hindering citizens’ right to open justice,” Dr Newman said.



  1. As a probation officer 2 years ago who was in regular contact the Auckland district court I too asked why claims of domestic violence wheren’t dealt with there but through the ‘femily caught’. Again and again I was met with an embarrassed and deafening silence. Apparently noone wanted to seriously discuss it. Or if they did they flippantly referred to it as ‘Oh that’s family business’. Methinks they let the fems get to them too much and they didn’t want to rock the boat and risk thier ire.

    Stephen Gee

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Fri 8th October 2004 @ 5:38 pm

  2. The thing that realy gets me is that everone involved in the DV industry harp on about domestic violence being a crime. If its a crime then lets hear it in an open court like any other crime and not behind closed doors

    Comment by Peter — Sun 10th October 2004 @ 1:03 pm

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