Who's Affected

Refugees or New Immigrants

As a refugee or new settler to Aotearoa/New Zealand, one of the many things required is to get a sense of the laws of your new country.

In Aotearoa/New Zealand we have laws protecting people from violence and abuse in relationships with family members and people close to them, as well as strangers. If you are frightened of being hurt by someone close to you, such as a marriage partner, defacto partner, member of your family or someone you share a house with such as flatmates, you can apply for a Protection Order under the Domestic Violence Act.

What is Violence

Domestic violence is not only physical abuse such as hitting, kicking or punching but also sexual abuse such as rape or unwanted sexual contact. Violence can also be psychological or emotional and includes such things as threats, intimidation and harassment.

In Aotearoa/New Zealand violence and abuse are not justified by tradition, culture or religion. Violence and abuse that happens in the home is treated no differently than violence that might happen on the street. It is a legal right as well as a human right for women and for children to be safe from violence and abuse in their homes as well as on the street.

Where Can I Get Help?

There are a number of ways you can get help if you are being subjected to violence and abuse by people close to you.

  • A Protection Order through the Family Court
  • Contact the Police
  • Contact your nearest Women’s Refuge who provide emergency accommodation and support for women experiencing domestic vi
  • Member agencies of the National Network of Stopping Violence Services provide programmes for men who use violence and want to change and women who have been subjected to violence can contact the closest agency on free phone 0800 456 460.

What if I Need an Interpreter?

If you need an interpreter to assist you this can be arranged through your local Family Court.

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