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Breaches of Protection Orders: When the other person doesn’t obey the order


What can I do if the other person doesn’t obey the Protection Order?

Family Violence Act 2018, ss 112, 113

If you’ve obtained a Protection Order and the person who that Protection Order is against doesn’t obey one of the conditions of the order, this is a breach of the order and a criminal offence. You should report any breach to the police.

As well as being charged with breaching a Protection Order, the respondent can also be charged with any other crime they committed at the same time – for example, an assault.

What can the police do if a Protection Order is breached?

Family Violence Act 2018, s 113 Bail Act 2000, ss 8, 23

The police can arrest the respondent, without warrant, if they have good reason to suspect the respondent of breaching the Protection Order (unless the breach was failing to attend a non-violence programme).

If the respondent is arrested, the police can’t release them on bail for 24 hours immediately after the arrest, unless they can be brought to court before then.

You (the applicant) should be informed and be given the opportunity to provide input into the bail decision. The most important factor when the judge is making the bail decision is the need to protect you and anyone else who’s covered by the Protection Order. If bail is granted, the police can impose certain conditions – for example, that the respondent can’t go to certain places or see certain people.

What’s the penalty for breaching a Protection Order?

Family Violence Act 2018, ss 112(3), 211

The maximum penalty for breaching a condition of a Protection Order (except the requirement to attend a non-violence programme) is three years in prison.

If the respondent fails to attend a non-violence programme as required, the maximum penalty is six months in prison or a $5,000 fine.

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Family violence and elder abuse

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Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres

Age Concern

Age Concern provides a range of resources on aspects of life for older people including elder abuse.

Website: www.ageconcern.org.nz
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Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS) – Office for Seniors

The Elder Abuse Response Service is a free, confidential 24-hour helpline.

Website: www.officeforseniors.govt.nz/our-work/raising-awareness-of-elder-abuse/elder-abuse-response-service
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Phone: 0800 32 668 65
Text: 5032

Women’s Refuge

Women’s Refuge provides 24-hour support, advocacy and accommodation for women and their children experiencing family violence throughout New Zealand.

Website: www.womensrefuge.org.nz
Crisis line (24/7): 0800 REFUGE (0800 733 843)
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Family Violence – It’s Not OK

“It’s not OK” is a community-driven behaviour change campaign to reduce family violence in New Zealand. Its goal is to change attitudes and behaviour that tolerate any kind of family violence. The website has resources for families who are experiencing abuse.

Website: www.areyouok.org.nz
Phone: 0800 456 450

Family Court

The Family Court website provides helpful information about family violence and the legal options available to keep families safe.

Website: www.justice.govt.nz/family/family-violence

New Zealand Law Society

The Law Society has helpful information on family violence and protection orders.

Website: www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-the-public/common-legal-issues/family-violence

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