In New Zealand, family violence is a crime. Police take it very seriously.
It is against the law for anyone to physically, sexually or psychologically abuse another person.
Examples of family violence include punching or kicking a family member, damaging property as a way of hurting someone, trying to control someone's life by constantly humiliating them, bullying, sexual mistreatment or controlling someone's money, time, car or contact with friends as a way of having power over them.
The most common types of family violence reported to Police involve violence against women and children. About 85% of victims reporting to Police are women.
Police recognise the serious harm family violence does to children who see or hear family violence. Police will also do their best to keep children safe from harm.
If you or a family member is in immediate danger from family violence then call Police on 111.
If family violence is happening in your home, you should tell someone you trust about this. Call a friend, family member or one of the groups listed below. If you don’t know who to talk to, call Police.
People suffering family violence can apply to get a protection order. You should seek advice from a lawyer or one of the support groups listed below.
Protection orders are issued in the Family Court and give legal protection against family violence for the person who applies for it and their children.
A protection order names the person who is committing the abuse and clearly explains what they can and cannot do. For example, a protection order may state that the person must not damage or threaten to damage property.
In normal circumstances, a temporary protection order can be granted on the same day or within a few days after you apply for it.
A protection order may also help protect your home and property.
If the person does not obey the protection order then Police can arrest them. The person will go to the District Court and could be ordered to pay a fine (money) or may go to prison.
Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children (call 0508 326 459) works with families to ensure children and young people are safe and live in an environment in which they thrive, and provides families with support to raise confident, secure children.