The Family Violence Act 2018 is due to come into force in July. Information sharing is but one part of this law that further abandons fundamental principles of justice and civil rights in favour of feminist ideology and aspirations towards total control over men. Men’s supporters’ submissions were mostly ignored in the creation of this dangerous review of the law.
The Act maintains the ridiculous ‘balance of probabilities’ standard of proof which is really no proof at all but can be conveniently used to accept anything women allege and to reject men’s evidence. The legislation includes nothing to discourage false allegations or perjury. It places even more emphasis on the myth that ‘coercive control’ (derived from and still meaning ‘patriarchal power and control’) is a main or frequent basis of family violence. It continues to label and treat the parties as ‘perpetrator’ and ‘victim’ even though research has made it clear that in the vast majority of family violence situations both parties commit and suffer from various forms of violence. Although there appears to have been some attempt to better specify the definitions of violence, it still continues the long existing trend of expanding the range of behaviour to be treated as violence the definitions are still conveniently vague and catch-all. It continues to provide the Family Court with the opportunity to punish minor expressions of anger by deciding that they form a pattern amounting to violence; this means that normal behaviour in arguments can be treated as violence and women can use this law to punish their partners for daring to disagree at all. The legislation continues to allow respondents (overwhelmingly men) to be forced under threat of imprisonment to attend assessment and indoctrination programs just as done by totalitarian regimes around the world.
The information sharing part of the legislation is a huge lurch further towards feminist and state totalitarianism. It will entitle a large range of government departments and agencies and social service practitioners to demand private information held by other practitioners (i.e. doctors, counsellors, teachers etc) , and will allow those practitioners to disclose private information even when that hasn’t been requested, for all or any of the following purposes:
(a) to make, or contribute to, a family violence risk or need assessment:
(b) to make, or contribute to the making or carrying out of, a decision or plan that is related to, or that arises from or responds to, family violence:
(c) to help ensure that a victim is protected from family violence.
Note that the Act provides no requirement for the request of information to be based on any justification. So we will see numerous man-hating social workers etc demand private information to assist women to gather evidence to use against men in Family Court disputes, or simply to assist in vendettas against unfavoured men. The Act protects social service practitioners from any disciplinary or legal action in relation to their breach of confidentiality, even though the promise of confidentiality was made long before this Act came into force. So something you disclosed to a counsellor, doctor, hospital service etc 20 years ago under the clear assurance of confidentiality can now be disclosed to any practitioner or authorized agency that demands it. Although the practitioner who is asked for the information is not specifically obliged to provide it, the protection of an alleged victim of family violence has to take precedence over any confidentiality principle which in effect will oblige practitioners to disclose everything requested. Although practitioners can still be prosecuted or disciplined if they disclose information “in bad faith”, no such limitation is placed on agencies or practitioners regarding their requests for information. The practitioner or agency who is asked for the information will then unwittingly (i.e. in good faith) provide it even though the requesting practitioner or agency has asked for it for ulterior motives.
The Act provides no limits on what can then be done with that information, so we can expect such stuff to be included as evidence in Family Court and other procedures. The agencies defined as ‘Family Violence Agencies’ include (among many others) Housing NZ Corporation, other social housing providers, the Department of Education and any other agency that may take on the functions of the agencies listed.
So you can predict what will happen. Your partner’s lawyer can contact some man-hating person or agency and tell them your partner alleged something. That agency will then demand personal information about you held by your DHB or any other social service practitioner. That can then be legally shared across numerous other agencies to be used against you at every turn. At sites like this we will soon be hearing even worse horror stories of anti-male discrimination, abuse and cruelty than we have already become accustomed to.