Black Ribbon New Zealand
Ending Domestic Violence for Everyone!

Family Violence in NZ

New Zealand has two primary pieces of legislation to ensure that family violence victims are kept safe and offenders are held to account. The Family Violence Act 2018 which repeals and replaces the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and the Family Violence (Amendments) Act 2018 which amends the Bail Act 2000, Crimes Act 1961, Sentencing Act 2002, Evidence Act 2006, Criminal Procedure Act 2011 and Care of Children Act 2004.

What is Family Violence?
Family violence, in relation to a person, means violence inflicted against one person by any other person with whom that person is, or has been, in a family relationship. Violence against a person includes a pattern of behaviour (done, for example, to isolate from family members or friends) that is made up of a number of acts that are all or any of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse, and that may be coercive or controlling (because it is done against the person to coerce or control, or with the effect of coercing or controlling, the person) and/or it causes the person, or may cause the person, cumulative harm. Abuse may be a single act or a series of acts forming a pattern of behaviour.

The more vulnerable people are, the more likely they are to be abused by the family members they are dependent on or that they trusted to keep them safe. Black Ribbon wants to expand the current narratives around Family Violence to include some of the more vulnerable groups in our communities. Read more about the vulnerable groups here on our website.

The five commonly identified categories of abuse are:

  1. physical abuse: infliction of physical pain, injury or force and inappropriate use of restraint or confinement that causes pain or bodily harm
  2. sexual abuse: any forced, coerced or exploitive sexual behaviour or threats imposed on an individual, including sexual acts imposed on a person unable to give consent, or sexual activity that an adult lacking mental capacity is unable to understand
  3. psychological/emotional abuse: any behaviour that causes anguish, stress or fear, including verbal abuse, intimidation, harassment, damage to property, threats of physical or sexual abuse, and the removal of decision-making powers
  4. financial/material abuse: illegal or improper use of funds or other resources, and/or exploitation
  5. neglect: occurs as a result of another person failing to meet the physical and emotional needs of a person.

To find out more about Family Violence, visit the Police Managers Guild Trust at