Newsroom: Two nations in a reform vacuum over family violence

New Zealand has the systems in place to study violence but hasn’t acted – Canada has changed its laws but lacks organisational structures. Visiting Canadian Professor Elizabeth Sheehy, an international expert on violence against women, explains. 

Law reformers in New Zealand and Canada have much to learn from each other.

In the last year, both the New Zealand Family Violence Death Review Committee and the New Zealand Law Commission made recommendations for change that would improve access to justice for women who experience intimate partner abuse. Even though intimate partner violence has by no means abated, and the risk of intimate femicide remains urgent for New Zealand women, these recommendations have yet to be taken up by the legislature or the courts.

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