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Stopping Violence Programmes – one size does not fit all

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 11:10 am Mon 2nd March 2009

At a hui for anti-violence providers in Auckland on Feb 16th, Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier told the participants that too many offenders were dropping out of anti-violence programmes, possibly partly because of the current “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Boshier asked: “If there is a one-off act of violence, which is limited to and caused by a certain context, should we really be requiring offenders to attend a programme that assumes the violence is a continuous or systematic feature of the respondent’s relationships?”

Before anyone gets excited at the prospect of meaningful reform, they should read this month’s NZ Centre for Political Research Guest Forum, where Stuart Birks questions whether Judge Boshier will be able to stand up to “pressures from vested interests and those who frame issues and manipulate the policy agendas.”

In an article titled Rethinking Stopping Violence Programmes Birks points out that we do not have clear evidence that stopping violence programmes work at all, and even less evidence that Boshier’s proposed changes would be effective.

Birks comments:

…one of the most puzzling aspects to me is that we allow interference in our lives to an extreme degree, up to and including the routine destruction of relationships between parents and their children. This is permitted despite the open admission that the theories are questionable, the data are problematic, and the effectiveness of the interventions is unknown. The people proposing and implementing these policies are subject to limited accountability and may not have the training, skills, experience, awareness and impartiality to justify our confidence in them.


  1. The violence program is just a humiliating tool.
    The collateral damage done to the children because of the protection order is the Violence.

    DVA = incompetency + deceitful lawyers ans judges + innocent children
    breaking bondage between father and children is barbarism.

    Here are some proposals for mr Boshier for starters:

    Have an independent higher body than the court to receive complaints about judges, lawyers.

    Have 50% shared custody the norm.

    Before you send protection orders to a male,
    get your facts right. See the male, talk to him ( social worker )

    If you through a man from his home, have his living covered.

    Only allow student lawyers in domestic disputes to be involved for their training.
    Final protection orders are nonsense. Max duration 6 month just to allow the court to figure out the case.

    Otherwise do not call yourself a civilized country. These things happens in Saudi
    Arabia where the roles are reversed: The female endures the injustice. Here it is the male.

    Comment by tren Christchurch — Mon 2nd March 2009 @ 6:40 pm

  2. So did you tell our legislators this last week when they invited comments to the Justice and Electoral select committe on the DV(Enhancing safety) Bill?

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 2nd March 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  3. Men alive can someone tell me if im ordered to attend men alive D.V program by the family
    court do i have to pay fees ive had a look at there website and from what i gather
    to do one on one as ordered by the courts Men alive expect me to pay 90 dollars
    I do not have the spare cash to waste on something im being forced to do

    What will happen when i refuse to Pay ??????????

    Comment by Men Alive — Fri 19th June 2009 @ 4:19 pm

  4. I don’t know the answer to that sorry but it wouldn’t surprise me if they expect you to pay. The male must pay for everything!!

    Comment by Scott B — Fri 19th June 2009 @ 4:46 pm

  5. It is normal for the Family Court to meet the full cost of the DV course.
    You may wish to make a donation to Men Alive and I’m sure that would be appreciated.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Fri 19th June 2009 @ 5:44 pm

  6. I will not be making a donation to anyone when im attending
    against my will based on lies from a revenge full ex partner
    but thanks for the info anyways cheers

    Comment by Men Alive — Fri 19th June 2009 @ 6:14 pm

  7. I wouldn’t pay either!

    Comment by Scott B — Fri 19th June 2009 @ 6:28 pm

  8. A thankyou to Benjamin Easton and previous tenaciousness absolutely clarifies the matter with documentation from emanating from Parliament.

    Court ordered attendance at a DV Programme will be covered by the State, NOT from the attendee.

    Any dispute of this should be directed back to me.

    Kind Regards

    Paul Catton
    East Auckland Refuge for Men and Families
    (09) 271 3020

    Comment by Paul Catton — Fri 19th June 2009 @ 7:00 pm

  9. In addition refer

    This is especially apt for Jacob.

    Any query contact me [email protected] or details below.

    Kindest Regards

    Paul Catton
    East Auckland Refuge for men and Families
    (09) 271 3020

    Comment by Paul Catton — Fri 19th June 2009 @ 7:21 pm

  10. Bully for your friend. Unfortunately these re-education classes are a failure. The rate of child abuse continues to trend upwards. Clearly current polices have failed to identify the risks to children. Most people sent on these courses are simple pawns in a political game.

    Comment by Dave — Mon 24th May 2010 @ 6:53 pm

  11. That may be but if so, they simply created another opening for me to make a point.

    Comment by Dave — Mon 24th May 2010 @ 7:15 pm

  12. Thank God for you people, Im outraged that after two tears of nearly everyday contact Im reduced to a group of essentially kids who are on the whole criminals, Im given “an extraordinary dad card!”, after moving to be near him , reducing hours at work and always paying child support. I did and admitted slapping her once,a year and a half ago! I have a house, saw him five times a week and both me and him are devastated. The state is more violent than I could ever be, They are destroying me and my son’s life. I am beyond words.

    Comment by Gary — Thu 3rd June 2010 @ 8:35 pm

  13. for those of us who cannot control anger, i think that anger management should be a reuirement to have a quality life ~*;

    Comment by Isabelle Gonzales — Sat 4th December 2010 @ 7:26 pm

  14. Isabelle,
    For the many men who cannot control misandric false accusations and ‘family’ ‘court’ I think that NOT attending anger management should be a requirement to have a DIGNIFIED life.

    Comment by Skeptik — Sat 4th December 2010 @ 8:34 pm

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