New Zealand Law & Domestic Abuse

New Zealand law, under the 1995 Domestic Violence Act, defines “domestic violence” as: 

“violence against that person by any other person with whom that person is, or has been, in a domestic relationship."

"Violence" means physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. This includes intimidation, harassment, damage to property, or threats of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse.” 

This law also says that “a person psychologically abuses a child if that person: 

  • (a) Causes or allows the child to see or hear the physical, sexual, or psychological abuse of a person with whom the child has a domestic relationship; or
  • (b) Puts the child, or allows the child to be put, at real risk of seeing or hearing that abuse occurring.

Finally, the law says: 

“A single act may amount to abuse. A number of acts that form part of a pattern of behaviour may amount to abuse, even though some or all of those acts, when viewed in isolation, may appear to be minor or trivial.” 

The same Act says that a person is in a domestic relationship with another person if the person:

  • (a) Is a spouse or partner of the other person; or
  • (b) Is a family member of the other person; or
  • (c) Ordinarily shares a household with the other person; or
  • (d) Has a close personal relationship with the other person.