Labour says a protection order revictimises people!

August 30th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Andrew Little said:

Victims of violent crime are more likely to be re-victimised than protected by a new Bill letting them to apply for non-contact orders against their perpetrators, ’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says.

The Victims Orders Against Violent Offenders Bill creates a new type of court order to prevent offenders convicted of a violent crime having contact with their victim and passed its first reading in Parliament today.

“This Bill is just cynical because the victim would be required to apply to the court for an order — at their own expense — and would be required to square off in court with the very person they are seeking to avoid.”

Umm, it is an option – not compulsory. But a very welcome option for those who want to be able to avoid their previous assailants etc. And I suspect a fair few will happily square off in court if it means that don’t have to worry about having them run into them in an alleyway.

“Protecting victims of crime from on-going threats and intimidation by a perpetrator is the State’s responsibility and can easily be done through sentencing arrangements or parole conditions.”

This is either naive, or disingenous. It can’t be done easily, and most of all it means the decision to seek such an order is not the victim’s, but agents of the state. I’m all for allowing victims to decide for themselves if they wish to seek a protection order.

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11 Responses to “Labour says a protection order revictimises people!”

  1. Brian Harmer (687 comments) says:

    The headline is a little unfair … Little appears to be saying that the process of getting a protection order revictimises people

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  2. dad4justice (8,313 comments) says:

    God help the Labour party and silly Mr Little. This is a good law as it will help those that need protection from unsavoury characters. If people feel threatened by some criminal creep they should have the right to seek protection. Hopefully it will also cut down the false allegations made by vengeful and vindictive women seeking protection orders. A court hearing to determine the necessity of a protection order is a brilliant idea that will save the country heaps in the future.

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  3. lilman (967 comments) says:

    Little is a waste of space,pity he didn’t run with Ardern for the top job and then we could have had the George and Mildred running things
    .

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  4. peterwn (3,307 comments) says:

    Andrew Little seems more interested in scoring cheap political points than helping ensure a safer society. Or is he just a crim-hugger.

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  5. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    Actually, speaking from personal experience. I can state that squaring off against an assailant in court can be terrifically empowering. I didn’t ask, or require a protection order, but that little bastard knew I was there when he got his sentence. I was able to look straight at him, and I did. It was him that couldn’t look me in the eye, or speak to me, or engage me in any way whatsoever!

    Mr Little, rather than wring your hands about victims being victims, how about placing them in a position of control and power. the other side of the justice system needs this amplification, and this is a very good way of going about it!

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  6. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    This is an appalling piece of legislation because it requires a victim to face their attacker in court, in order to prevent that person from having contact with them.

    Can any of you imagine how intimidating that would be for victims? The mere thought of having to go through such a process will prevent many victims from applying for the orders.

    I don’t often agree with the Green party, but I do on this one. Stop thinking of it in the terms of political points and think about the victims, who are already mostly ignored by our justice system.

    A Court appearance does not place them in a position of power. The Court environment is oppressive, manipulative and intimidating. The applicant, the victim would be required to undergo cross examination, at times forcing them to relive the crime (probably a violent or sexual one).

    Whilst some victims are strong enough to do this, many many aren’t, and would simply fail to apply.

    The fact is, that as most victims know, protection orders are only as good as the distance and time delay from the nearest police station. Many are not worth the paper they are written on, let alone going through the torment of a court case to get.

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  7. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @peterwn

    This has nothing to do with being a ‘crim hugger’, he is not suggesting that there should not be protection orders, just that the process of a Court case, in which the victim is exposed, having to face their attacker etc, and will have to give evidence and therefore risk being cross-examined, is not respectful nor does it acknowledge the hardship and emotional torment that victims already face.

    For once, can’t this not be about political points scoring and actually about the victims of violence?

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  8. Harriet (5,131 comments) says:

    Stand in the public gallery in parliment and yell out loud “John Key sits down when he pisses” and a security guard will throw you out of parliment. The police will then be called.
    The useless fuckers in Wellington should just increase the penalties for tresspass 20 – 50 fold. Look at this weak as piss fucken crap:

    Trespass Act 1980

    [11] Offences and penalties

    (1) [Repealed]
    (2) Every person who commits an offence against this Act shall be liable on conviction—
    (a) in the case of an offence against section 3 or section 4 or section 12, to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months:
    (b) in the case of an offence against section 6(a) or section 7, to a fine not exceeding $300 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 month:
    (c) in the case of an offence against section 6(b), to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 month:
    (d) in the case of an offence against section 8, to a fine not exceeding $200:
    (e) in the case of an offence against section 9, to a fine not exceeding $500.

    Section 11(1): repealed, on 1 July 2013, by section 413 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (2011 No 81).

    Putting a $2 sign on everyones property is enough legal warning to stay the fuck off. You either have a LEGAL reason to be on peoples property – or you don’t.

    Key and the rest of those tossers in parliment like nothing more than to complicate matters, tie up resources, and burden the economy with nefarious legislation.

    They can stay the fuck off my property ! :cool:

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  9. David Garrett (7,548 comments) says:

    What an interesting juxtaposition of comments…one from an actual victim, who found – as many do – it greatly “empowering” to face their attacker in court; another opposing comment from the great academic champion of victims, Judith, who says it is a terrible idea.

    As some will know, I have recently been involved in obtaining ex gratia payments for victims of William Bell’s rampage at the Panmure RSA. One of the survivors spoke eloquently about how good she felt meeting Bells mocking stare in Court – and seeing him eventually give it up and break her gaze. That’s the point of course; In court, the power is no longer with the offender; he cant use force and fear and threats to further intimidate the victim… And as DPF says, these things are entirely voluntary.

    As with their leadership and overall direction, Labour can’t seem to decide what it is or where it stands on law and order issues. Last week they supported strengthening bail laws to make it harder for violent offenders to get bail…now this. Buggered if I know…

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  10. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett

    How do you know my interest in victims is not because I have been their myself, so know exactly how is feels?

    You quote a victim that posted earlier, but did you note that victim stated they were in court – they did not state that they had to give evidence to convince the court of a need for a protection order, nor face cross examination regarding the need for the order – very big differences there David.

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  11. Michael (911 comments) says:

    Harriet – The Trespass Act works until you go to the shop/cinema/park. A protection order would mean that the offender would have to leave if you turned up. Sounds harsh for the offender, but tough titties – they shouldn’t have committed the crime.

    The two alternatives that Little proposed are for a court to impose an order as part of sentencing. If the Judge doesn’t choose to do so it then leaves the victim without an option to get one.

    Parole Boards can already add conditions about not contacting victims, but their power only extends for the rest of the court imposed term.

    In practice, I imagine that most orders will not be opposed by the offender – especially those with upcoming Parole Hearings.

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