Justice Minister Judith Collins will this week introduce a bill to Parliament creating a new order to protect victims of serious violent and sexual offences.
Ms Collins said the Victims’ Orders Against Violent Offenders Bill will help reduce the likelihood of victims having unwanted contact with the serious violent and sexual offenders who have offended against them.
“There is currently a gap in the protection available to victims of serious violent and sexual crime. This Bill closes that gap and helps to ensure all victims are protected from unwanted contact with their attackers,” Ms Collins said.
The Victims’ Orders Against Violent Offenders Bill creates a new non-contact order that will:
• be available to victims of serious violent and sexual offences where the offender was sentenced to five or more years in prison for a qualifying offence.
• impose a number of conditions on an offender, including prohibiting them from contacting the victim in any way, or from entering, living or working in a particular area.
• be available to victims who don’t have a current protection order or restraining order against the person who offended against them.
“It’s unacceptable to have a situation where a victim of serious crime may have unwanted contact with their attacker. Victims can feel intimidated by an offender moving into their local area, near their home or work place.
“We want to ensure all victims can be protected. Feeling safe is important for any victim of crime, but especially those who are victims of serious violent and sexual crime,” Ms Collins says.