Lawyers welcome changes to sexual violence court process

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Monday, 20 May 2019, 6:25AM
A greater focus is expected to go on victim impact statements being heard by video - and specialist training for lawyers in sexual violence cases. Photo / Getty Images.

Lawyers are welcoming changes to the way sexual violence cases are handled.

The upcoming Wellbeing Budget will see $320 million invested over four years into trying to break the cycle of family and sexual violence.

A greater focus is expected to go on victim impact statements being heard by video - and specialist training for lawyers in sexual violence cases.

Meredith Connell Crown prosecutor, Kirsten Lummis, told Kate Hawkesby sexual violence training should come from the judiciary.

"Legislative changes around that actually being made part of the law. So that at the beginning of a trial the jury is actually given that information from the judge, rather than us having to brief that information in the way we currently do."

How to get help

If you're in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay.

Where to go for help or more information:

• NZ Police
• The Harbour, for those affected by harmful sexual behaviour
• Help Auckland 24/7 helpline 09 623 1700
• Rape Prevention Education
• Wellington Help 24/7 crisisline 04 801 6655, push 0
• Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz

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