Domestic violence crimes

July 14th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

An ‘attempted strangulation’ charge may be introduced by Justice Minister Judith Collins in a bid to tackle .

The act of attempted strangulation is often a precursor to murder in domestic violence situations, the minister said, and it needed to be treated more seriously.

“One of the suggestions from the family violence group that’s been looking at it, is that we bring in a new law around attempted strangulation,” she told TV One’s Q+A programme.

“So when we’ve got people who are being strangled and partly strangled in their home, that is an indicator that the person who’s doing it is actually going to go on and kill them. And we need to treat that much more seriously than we do.”

Such a crime on the books seems a useful, albeit, sad thing. I guess a case can be made for attempted murder to be the charge in all such cases but proving beyond reasonable doubt that a strangulation was going to continue and kill would be difficult often.  But with attempted strangulation you won’t need to prove what the final intent was, just that some strangulation occurred.

Most domestic violence penalties were tough enough to deal with the crime, Ms Collins said, with perpetrators being treated “as anybody else” on charges such as murder or grievous bodily harm. But a charge of male assaults female may not be reflective of the seriousness of the crime.

I think that crime should be removed from the books. We should have a range of assaults defined in law, but they should be defined based on the seriousness of the assault, not on the gender of the assailant and victim.

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38 Responses to “Domestic violence crimes”

  1. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    What about the 700 crimes covered up by police

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  2. tvb (4,193 comments) says:

    The police often lay an assault with intent to injure charge for attempted strangulation which carries a maximum of 3 years imprisonment for the reasons outlined by the Minister. She was not that well briefed but who would dare tell her. I certainly would not.

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  3. stephieboy (2,146 comments) says:

    wiki. you have failed to prove a sinister conspiracy there.!

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  4. mjw (206 comments) says:

    I agree with you DPF, on both counts. I wonder whether it would also be worth looking at the UK application of “affray.” The UK extends this beyond fighting in a public place to include the use of threats of violence to intimidate. That might send a good message also, and would have broader application than just domestic violence.

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  5. gravedodger (1,506 comments) says:

    @ wiki, so what, who leaked, when did it start, why suddenly now a problem and the 700 is what percentage of reported crime nationally or in Manakau. So many questions.

    On the thread, dropping gender from assault is entirely appropriate there are some seriously scary women out there for a little old guy.

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  6. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    “wiki. you have failed to prove a sinister conspiracy there.!”

    Sinister, probably not. conspiracy yes.

    I offered to stand corrected on a statement I never made and the slanderer never came back

    I am vindicated

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  7. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    And remember Stephieboy, I am not writing from my own imagination but from a real press release from the MSM.

    How can you refute that cover up. The minister didn’t, but you can…… who are you ……I mean really???????????

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  8. Sporteone (16 comments) says:

    This is just pandering to the Family Violence Groups and other organisations that want great penalties and more offences to over family violence or violence against women.

    Please do not get me wrong, I do not condone violence in any form and that includes boxing matches and cage fighting, but that is another story.

    I served 22 years in the Police and have seen plenty of what everyone is talking about. Instead of creating more offences/crimes, how about the Police charge the offenders with the right offence in the first place. We have the male assaults female, but not the other way around. Assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and it goes on. All you would need to do is change the male assaults female and include strangulation in the charge.

    The more offences we have the harder it is to get the correct charge for the particular offence. As soon as anyone places their hands around someone neck and squeezes it is an assault. No questions asked. The facts can be brought out in the Summary of Facts for the court. Strangulation is not different from any other assault. It is an assault and in each case the person committing the act intended to inflict the injury or in this case strangle the person.

    And then we have the problem of how far it all goes. Strangulation is now a big part of sexual acts. Will this new offence cover too far. What happens if a person consents to being strangled during a sex act. It is not as clear cut as the minister suggests.

    And as for the 700 offences misreported, that has gone on for years and years. District/Regional Commanders have to meet their KRA’s etc to get their bonuses. As a Police Analyst in the Intelligence Analysis Section we produced the statistics and was asked regularly if we could amend them to make the graphs etc look better. The Analysis spreadsheets were always being altered and so it goes on. There was always a mass clearance each year of offences just before the crimes stats were produced. Crimes were written off to offenders, even though they weren’t charged with the offences or even admitted to them.

    Police stats are just a waste of time and are manufactured to make the Police look like they are doing their jobs. Enough said

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  9. peterwn (3,140 comments) says:

    I think it would be too politically sensitive to remove ‘male assaults female’ charge. When sexual offences were re-arranged as a result of homosexual law reform, it was intended to call ‘rape’ something else, but the term was retained because of public pressure.

    Perhaps ‘reckless driving causing death’ should be abolished as all such cases are in reality ‘manslaughter’. But then juries were reluctant to enter manslaughter where someone was killed through reckless use of a vehicle, which is why the alternative offence was put into law.

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  10. Chuck Bird (4,661 comments) says:

    “I think it would be too politically sensitive to remove ‘male assaults female’ charge.”

    Sadly, you are correct but there is as much logic in retaining it as retaining the Maori seats but political parties are more concerned about getting in power or retaining power than what is right or wrong.

    Because the average man would beat the average women in a fight does not mean there are not plenty of women who could give the average guy a hiding.

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  11. holysheet (263 comments) says:

    So who is the revered well known person who on being convicted of sexual assault gets name suppression. Our own Rolf Harris apparently

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  12. David Garrett (6,309 comments) says:

    I am also with DPF on both counts: add strangulation as an offence, and drop the spurious “male assaults female”…that charge is a relic of the past, put in place when women were all fey wee things who perspired but never sweat…

    holysheet: I have it on good authority that the person is a well known serial offender…interesting that none of the MSM have seen fit to breach the suppression order…they had no such reluctance in my case, and this fellow was once much more prominent than I ever was…

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  13. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    “District/Regional Commanders have to meet their KRA’s etc to get their bonuses. ”

    This is where policing will be wrong.

    Bureacracy working to fill quotas and bonuses at everyone elses costs.

    This is where conspiracy becomes rife

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  14. Judith (7,460 comments) says:

    Whilst I agree that offences do not need to be gender specific, there does I believe need to be consideration for the ‘strength’ involved.

    Whilst a female holding the arm of a male against their wishes might cause bruising and maybe even nail scratches, it is unlikely to do any serious arm, however, many males doing the same to a female, could result in serious injury. Therefore, whilst the actual charge should be the same, there needs to be variation within the sentencing to allow for the fact that one party may be physically dominant over the other, causing a power imbalance. (Of course that can at times be the reverse, and it is the female that has physical dominance).

    However, good luck to any political party that tries to change that at the moment.

    Regarding strangulation – I don’t think its necessary to add it as a separate offence – if you are trying to strangle someone, clearly you have the intention to kill – and that is already covered in law.

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  15. labrator (1,744 comments) says:

    Could a legal mind explain to me how “male assaults female” does not breach NZ’s Bill of Rights? I thought it was illegal to discriminate based on gender?

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  16. labrator (1,744 comments) says:

    @holysheet It’s pretty easy to find out and the circumstances are quite unique.

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  17. MT_Tinman (2,984 comments) says:

    We have enough bloody laws.

    I agree, DPF, with most of your comments but surely there are laws (aggravated assault for instance) now that cover this action.

    We just need police and judges to enforce them correctly.

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  18. kowtow (7,581 comments) says:

    sporteone is spot on.

    Strangulation is assault. Already on the books. Judge can then ,as they say “judge each case on its own merits”

    This is just more gender politics. As such it is cultural marxism and should be avoided.

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  19. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    I think ‘male assaults female’ is fine. Men and women are not the same. There are situations where it is better to treat them as if they are, but this is not one of those. The alternative is to give judges broader discretion in sentencing and we’ve seen how badly that works.

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  20. MT_Tinman (2,984 comments) says:

    Nigel Kearney (846 comments) says:
    July 14th, 2014 at 2:10 pm
    Men and women are not the same.

    I agree with that.

    On my trip to the shops today I observed once again the fact that most males spot their females at least 100lbs.

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  21. Meatloaf (142 comments) says:

    Really Nigel Kearney & MT_Tinman. A few years ago I tried to break up with Marie, but Marie didn’t want to. So she jumped on me on a park seat. I would have died of not being able to breathe, if I hadn’t given her a down trough. She quickly pulled them up, and I was able to breathe again.

    All is fair in love and war, and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. This Marie used physical force when she didn’t get her way. She didn’t attack, but she liked to hold me back. Later on, she said that giving her a down trough, only made her want me more.

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  22. Chuck Bird (4,661 comments) says:

    ” I have it on good authority that the person is a well known serial offender…interesting that none of the MSM have seen fit to breach the suppression order…they had no such reluctance in my case, and this fellow was once much more prominent than I ever was…”

    I wonder if David – I am sorry to be a man – Cunliffe is prepared to name him in Parliament?

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  23. goldnkiwi (985 comments) says:

    Trough? trou? short for trouser?

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  24. Meatloaf (142 comments) says:

    Yes goldnkiwi, that’s what I meant. Trou is short for trousers.

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  25. David Garrett (6,309 comments) says:

    labrator: according to the information I have the circumstances of this particular indecent assault are not remotely unique,,,,I am assuming you are referring to the same case Rodney Hide has referred to?

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  26. dime (9,356 comments) says:

    “The act of attempted strangulation is often a precursor to murder in domestic violence situations” – yep!

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  27. CHFR (215 comments) says:

    David can we infer this man is of the left then as the MSM seem quite happy to keep this quiet??

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  28. labrator (1,744 comments) says:

    @DG I was assuming this is the comedian case? Haven’t trawled the presses today if there’s a more recent case. I don’t think I’m talking about the same thing, I’ve missed a reference sorry.

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  29. kowtow (7,581 comments) says:

    Meatloaf ,marie and a park bench spat……I feel there could be a song in there

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  30. awg (2 comments) says:

    This is one of those policies that makes it seem like something is being done when nothing really is changing. We already have a complete structure of assault offences. Male assaults female is primarily simply common assault in a particular context with a supposition that the victim is more vulnerable than ordinarily and in domestic violence cases that there is a built in element of breach of trust. The real challenge is deciding what to charge and establishing the facts for sentencing. The charge and the sentence will differ between light-handed grasping and releasing versus sustained squeezing for 4 or 5 seconds versus strangling to the point of unconsciousness.

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  31. awg (2 comments) says:

    In another context I have read more than 2 thousand male assaults female sentencing decisions. Strangulation is not uncommon in those cases, while it may be common for murders in domestic violence settings to follow after other violence, including strangulation, that does not mean that strangulation leads to murder.

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  32. Chuck Bird (4,661 comments) says:

    labrator, It is not the comedian and this one is much bigger and is bound to get out soon.

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  33. Nukuleka (199 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird: I haven’t a clue who this person Rodney Hide referred to is- surely is it possible for someone on this blog to give us a couple of clues as to the identity without breaching any sort of name suppression rights.

    By the by- in terms of ‘rape culture’ and ‘domestic violence’- is it in fact true that we have excessively high rates of both or is it that by constantly repeating something as fact it becomes regarded as fact. And is it that, were we to exclude offending by certain ethnic groups, our rates would be low. I know that the Glenn report did its damnedest to suggest that domestic violence is spread across all racial and socio-economic groups but I’m not sure that I trust such assertions. Not pc I know!

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  34. Chuck Bird (4,661 comments) says:

    Nukuleka: Sorry I have a court case pending and I do not want to be up for contempt. A hint that identifies him and would be found guilty. Remember Slater.

    I would expect most MPs would know if I could find out. I wonder if David – I am sorry to be a man – Cunliffe will name him in Parliament.

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  35. jackinabox (550 comments) says:

    “Regarding strangulation – I don’t think its necessary to add it as a separate offence – if you are trying to strangle someone, clearly you have the intention to kill – and that is already covered in law.”

    http://bcops.wordpress.com/23-attempted-murder/

    Fuck I hate the NZ Police almost as much as Timothy McVeigh hated the ATF and FBI.

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  36. Chuck Bird (4,661 comments) says:

    Nukuleka:

    Footnote: Tomorrow, when I’m safely out of the country, I’ll deal with a suppression order against a famous Kiwi sportsman. He’s pleaded guilty to sex offences, had his name permanently suppressed, yet has the gall to comment on the conduct of other alleged offenders. He deserves to be named. He will be.

    http://www.humanheadline.com.au/hinch-says/depressing-suppression

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  37. Rex Widerstrom (5,253 comments) says:

    Interesting how we blithely accept that Police massage statistics because, as Sporteone says, “District/Regional Commanders have to meet their KRA’s etc to get their bonuses”… but many find it impossible to accept that those same Police knowingly charge innocent people on little or no evidence as another means to manipulate those same statistics.

    Every few years we are treated to a new moral panic. The bogeyman du jour for many years has been the faceless paedophile, “invading your home”via the internet and luring your children to a seedy motel to do unspeakable acts. That’s despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of such crimes take place in the home and are perpetrated by a person known to the victim. But it’s sure bolstered the budgets of “cyber crime” bureaus, who now – purely coincidentally, I’m sure – have the technology and manpower to snoop on all of us.

    A cynic might say it’s possible to tell what the Police want funded next by the sudden – apparent – outbreak of certain types of crime.

    As for the issue of strangulation…

    But with attempted strangulation you won’t need to prove what the final intent was, just that some strangulation occurred.

    Strangulation isn’t choking someone to death, DPF. Strangulation is “to compress or constrict”. Therefore something as relatively benign as placing ones hands on the shoulders of a person’s who’s out of control could be seen as attempting strangulation. A hand on each collarbone in the midst of an altercation is literally centimetres away from a hand on each side of the neck. Do we really want a charge so nuanced to apply to a situation such as a physical altercation?

    As Sporteone also says, there are laws on the books to deal with assault. Politicians should cease this finessing of the law in the hope of creating outcomes in line with their political views, which only serves to make lawyers wealthy and citizens uneasy, since the previous relatively clear boundaries become blurred by their meddling.

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  38. goldnkiwi (985 comments) says:

    It also makes it harder to categorize or is that code incidents, especially if there is more than one facet to them, next thing you will be wanting the police to code them in all categories that could apply, then they could double or quadruple. Should the statistics be shown on court outcomes not on arrests or call outs?

    It is quite ironic that the ‘fudged’ statistic is burglary in light of the ‘Malaysian Connection’ or un connection, that in the examples of the fudging that I have seen there were a number of categories including theft occurring during a burglary that could be coded. Very subjective from what I saw, most incidents not likely to be black or white.

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