Craig Jackson is a former child and educational psychologist now retired who joined the New Zealand branch of ‘Families Need Fathers’ in the late 1970s prior to the establishment of the Family Court in 1981. He also helped to establish the Wellington-based ‘Equal Parental Rights Society’ and trained fellow psychologists to complete psychological reports to help guide the Family Court in issues affecting the custody of, and access to, children. He has maintained this interest over the entire 33 year history of the Court, also making submissions to the Ministry of Justice’s Review on the Family Court. He made separate submissions on domestic violence and the repeal of the Bristol clause to the Electoral and Justice Select Committee hearing submissions on the Family Bill subsequently enacted in October 2013.
He has also acted as a support person for men in contested care of children issues before the Family Court.
Hans Laven is a clinical psychologist with a professional interest in domestic and wider violence. He presented submissions on this topic to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee on Family Law Reform.
Dr Viv Roberts is a General Practitioner with thirty years experience. He has dealt with many families in crisis, some involved in Family Court proceedings. He has taken a special interest in fatal male suicides and the motivations involved and in attempted suicides by women. He has appeared before a Parliamentary Select Committee to make submissions on this topic.
“This is the problem with fanaticism in public life: obsessively held beliefs blind people…to the evidence before them.”
“Activists who really want to diminish the incidence of domestic violence have to abandon outmoded ways of thinking about the problem. To remain closed-minded at this juncture may make one a faithful ideologue but it does no service to victims of intimate partner violence.”
From Donald Dutton’s ‘Rethinking Domestic Violence’
“Complexity and ambiguity can never be eliminated with the result that responding to family violence is not amenable to simplistic thinking or simple solutions. As described in this report, the purpose of the family violence death review process is to consider how we can strengthen the resilience of the multi-agency family violence system so it can respond more effectively in the face of this complexity.”
From the Chair’s introduction to the Family Violence Death Review Committee’s Fourth Annual Report, page 5
“…Violence is not a valid solution to problem solving no matter who is perpetrating the act and that there is plenty of evidence that both men and women perpetrate violence, then our model of domestic violence must acknowledge this fact and find solutions for both partners.”
Author of ‘Rethinking Domestic Violence’
Canada: UBC Press (2006)
“Men are physically stronger, cause more damage and fear, but women are abusers too and domestic violence can be mutual. We need to focus on where it happens, not politicise it by blaming all men.”
Government is pledging 9.4 million dollars to strengthen community responses to the problem of family violence and is being lobbied to put in place the following new initiatives:
Establishing a Chief Victims Advisor to the Minister of Justice to advise on the needs and views of victims of crime, including domestic violence victims.
Testing an intensive case management service to provide specialist support for domestic violence victims at high risk of serious harm or death.
Establishing a nationwide home safety service to help victims who want to leave a violent relationship. The service will offer practical support such as safety planning, strengthening doors and windows and installing alarms.
Reviewing the Domestic Violence Act 1995 to ensure it keeps victims safe and holds offenders to account.
Exploring the possibility of a conviction disclosure scheme, which may allow a person to be told whether their partner has a history of violence.
Introduce legislation to change the Sentencing Act, which will allow courts to stipulate GPS monitoring of high-risk domestic violence offenders who can’t currently have this condition imposed upon them.
(Section attributed to a Domestic Violence Clearing House Information Sheet)
Provide free advocates counselling.
Making non-fatal strangulation or choking a separate crime.
Introducing a defence of provocation for women subjected to repeated physical violence should they kill their partner.
Reinstating the Bristol clause placing the burden of proof of innocence on any accused (in practice, only male accused) and ensuring that children’s relationships with an accused parent (in practice, only males) are damaged even when the children have never been present or involved during any alleged offending.
Table of Contents
1 Overview 1
2 Preamble 3
3 Domestic violence ‘panics’ 4
4 The Duluth perspective on intimate partner violence by legal academics 4
5 The fallacy of ‘the dynamics of intimate partner violence’. 5