27 Jan 2019

Govt agencies sharing details on family violence will save lives - Jan Logie

5:32 pm on 27 January 2019

There's wide support for government agencies and health groups to share information among them when dealing with family violence situations.

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Government agencies sharing information on family violence situations would save lives, Jan Logie says. Photo: 123RF

The Family Violence Act comes into effect from July, giving power to authorities to share sensitive details, so they can intervene quickly and help vulnerable people.

The Ministry of Justice has released a summary of feedback related to the new legislation.

Under-secretary to the Minister of Justice Jan Logie said most of the feedback supported information sharing.

She said it would help save lives. In most cases, it was likely the person involved would be consulted about what could and and could not be shared, she said.

She said the authorities that would share the information - such as the police and Oranga Tamariki - would now be trained in how it would work.

The new Family Violence Amendments Act would significantly improve the response to domestic violence, a domestic abuse organisation said in December last year.

The act aims to keep victims, including children, safe and reduce family violence. It also creates three new offences, including one of strangulation or suffocation, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment.

Shine director Jane Drumm said the new legislation will help agencies and organisations deliver a unified approach to dealing with family violence.

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